A new global study published in the BMJ Open reveals women have almost caught up with men in terms of the amount of alcohol they consume.
The study, perhaps the largest of its kind ever to be produced, analysed data concerning people born between 1891 and 2001.
The study reveals women born in the first half of this period were far less likely to drink alcohol compared to their male peers. This meant alcohol-induced health problems were relatively rare amongst the female population.
For instance, the study claims women born in the early 1900s were twice as likely than men not to drink any alcohol at all.
When it comes to problem drinking, these women were three times less likely to engage in such behaviour when compared to men.
Lastly, the report says men were three and a half times more likely than women to suffer from a serious health problem such as liver cirrhosis because of their drinking.
The report shows women born in the last thirty years have begun to drink at similar levels to the male population. This has also caused a corresponding increase in the number of women suffering from alcohol-induced health problems.
Specifically, women born after 1980 are now only 1.1 times less likely to drink any alcohol at all, only 1.2 times less likely to suffer from problem drinking, and only 1.3 times less likely than their male peers to suffer from a serious alcohol-related health problem such as liver cirrhosis.
The researchers concluded: "Alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders have historically been viewed as a male phenomenon.
"The present study calls this assumption into question and suggests that young women, in particular, should be the target of concerted efforts to reduce the impact of substance use and related harm."
There are likely many reasons for this occurrence. Some point to the fact that women's role has clearly changed in society over the last decade. Other's blame advertising encouraging female alcohol consumption.
Whatever the reason, what's clear is that the problem will not go away of its own free accord unless something is done. Perhaps the Government should introduce 'minimum unit alcohol pricing,' or more should be done to educate women on the health risks associated with their alcohol consumption.
If you are a woman suffering from alcoholism, don't suffer in silence. Contact Rehab 4 Alcoholism today for fast access to an alcohol rehab centre. Call us in confidence on 0800 111 4108.