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Study: Alcohol-related deaths are on the rise among women

Historically, it was men who drank alcohol in higher quantities, did more binge drinking and were more likely to face the health complications stemming from alcohol use. But according to a recent study, those trends are changing and women are catching up. 

Dr. Holly Geyer is a physician in internal medicine and addiction medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. 

"Over the last 100 years, we've seen some interesting trends among women. Right now, though, almost as many males and females drink alcohol. And this is a big change for women over the past century," she said.

That’s because Geyer says they’re seeing an increase in women who are binge drinking. Now a recent study published in JAMA found that alcohol-related deaths are on the rise among women.

"Over the age of 50, is where we're seeing the highest incline in alcohol related complications, including deaths," Geyer said.

The study found that alcohol-related deaths are up among men, too.

As for why some women drink to excess, reasons vary. Geyer says the pandemic, growing rates of mental health disorders, and the fact that alcohol has been normalized as a recreational activity are likely contributing factors.

Senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.