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Nov 25, 2015 07:01 AM EST

Women in the U.S. are drinking more than men

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A recent study shows that women are catching up with the drinking habits of men in the U.S., indicating that men are drinking less and women are drinking more in the U.S., Fusion reports.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) discussed the results in a statement released yesterday.

NIAAA Director George F. Koob explained, "This study confirms what other recent reports have suggested about changing patterns of alcohol use by men and women in the U.S."

The findings were published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Aaron White of the National Institute led the research on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).  The study looked at the drinking habits of American men and women from 2002-2012.

For the study, the researchers relied on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The researchers assessed the drinking habits of females and males aged 12+ on the parameters of lifetime abstinence, age when they started drinking, current drinking, binge drinking, drinking and driving, reaching DSM-IV criteria for an alcohol use disorder, combining alcohol with other drugs such as marijuana, and other variables.

According to the report published by NIH, the percentage of people who drank alcohol in the previous 30 days increased for females from 44.9 percent to 48.3 percent, but decreased for males from 57.4 percent to 56.1 percent between 2002 and 2012.

The researchers did, however, find that more young, male adults are boozing when they get high than young, female adults.

"The prevalence of combining alcohol with marijuana during the last drinking occasion among 18 to 25 year old male drinkers increased from 15 percent to 19 percent... while the prevalence of combining alcohol with marijuana during the last drinking occasion among 18 to 25 year old female drinkers remained steady at about 10 percent," White stated.

Koob noted that the findings are of concern because women are at higher risk of contracting heart diseases and other diseases caused by alcohol consumption than men.

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