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    Alcohol-Related Liver Disease Rose More Than Expected in Middle-Aged Women During Pandemic

    A new study finds alcohol-related liver disease and heart problems rose more than expected among middle-aged women during the pandemic, The New York Times reports.

    Researchers evaluated health insurance claims data from 2017 to 2021 for more than 14 million Americans 15 and older. They found during the first year and a half of the pandemic, women ages 40 to 64 were much more likely than expected to have serious complications such as alcohol-related heart and liver disease, in addition to severe withdrawal.

    The study found in almost every month from April 2020 to September 2021, women ages 40 to 64 had complications from alcohol-related liver disease at higher rates than predicted. Men of the same age also had rates of alcohol-related complications during the same period, but the increases were not statistically significant, the researchers found.

    Katherine Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University who was not involved in the study, said the findings underscore how patterns of heavy drinking can lead to serious health consequences. Over the last 10 years, a growing number of American women, especially those who are middle-aged, have reported binge-drinking, she said. Women tend to marry and have children at later ages than before, so they spend more time in what Dr. Keyes calls a “high-risk period for heavy drinking.”


    April 2024