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    Health Impact 

    • Liver disease1
      Women are more likely to develop cirrhosis or liver abnormalities secondary to alcohol than men1
    • Cardiac disease2
    • Cardiac tissue in women is more sensitive to the effects of alcohol so cardiomyopathy can develop in women with less alcohol intake than men3
    • Changes in menstruation and fertility2
    • Alcohol use is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage4
    • Alcohol intake may be related to ovulatory dysfunction5
    • Increased risk of breast cancer2
    • Increased social issues (i.e. loss of income, child neglect/abuse, domestic violence
    • Increased risk of sexual assault2
    • Increased mortality related to alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death of women in the U.S.2 
    • Alcohol use in women is associated with a 50-100 times higher mortality than in men6



    1. Maryland PRAMS: Focus on Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking
    2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2011). ACOG committee opinion 496: At-Risk Drinking and Alcohol Dependence: Obstetric and Gynecologic Implications. Washington, DC: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
    3. Urbano-Marquez A. et al (1995). The greater risk of alcoholic cardiomyopathy and myopathy in women compared with men. JAMA 274. 149-54.
    4. Alwan, S. et al” Teratology Primer-2nd edition (7/9/2010)” (2010).  Department of Pediatrics Faculty Papers. Paper 31
    5. Grodstein, F. et al (1994). Infertility in women and moderate alcohol use. American Journal of Public Health 84. 1429-1432.
    6. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2008). ACOG committee opinion 422: At-Risk Drinking and Illicit Drug Use: Ethical Issues in Obstetric and Gynecologic Practice.  Washington, DC: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
    January, 2014