Alcohol dependence is more likely than smoking to increase death rates among women, a new study finds. German researchers found deaths rates were 4.6 times higher among women who were alcohol dependent, and 1.9 times higher among alcohol-dependent men, compared with the general population.
Lead researcher Ulrich John said the smoking-related deaths are more due to cancers, which seem to occur later in life than many alcohol-related deaths. He added that drinking can contribute to other risky behaviors, such as smoking and obesity, HealthDay reports.
The study included data on more than 4,000 adults, who were followed for 14 years. The average age of death for those who were alcohol dependent was 60 for females and 58 for males, both of which are about 20 years lower than the average age of death among the general population. The researchers found having participated in inpatient alcohol dependency treatment did not improve survival.
“We already know females tend to respond much stronger to toxins such as alcohol than males,” John said in a news release. “Women also seem to develop alcohol-attributable disease faster than men do.”
The study appears in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.