Alcohol and Your Health – A Resource for Women

According to 2008 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 19 percent of Pennsylvania women ages 18 to 44 reported drinking more than 4 drinks at one occasion during the past month. This amount is above the national median of 14.7 percent of women of childbearing age.

Alcohol and women’s health, including the causes and effects of alcohol abuse and methods of prevention and treatment of alcohol addiction, are a key area of research by the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). The report, Alcohol: A Women’s Health Issue, a collaboration between NIH and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is a thorough overview of the long-term impacts of alcohol use on the health and overall well-being of women.

The brief presents information on:

  • the specific (and unique) physical health effects of alcohol for women,
  • the risks of heavy drinking,
  • demographic data on women who are heavy drinkers, and
  • the future direction of research on this health concern.

 

The brief is available online at no cost. .

Is Excessive Texting by Teens a Risky Behavior?

A study recently presented at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting & Exposition in Denver, Colorado, found that both hyper-texting (more than 120 text messages per day) and hyper-networking (over 3 hours per day on social networking sites) may be signs of health risks in youth.  The survey of Midwestern high school students looked at utilization of technology for social communication and risky behaviors such as smoking, drug use, alcohol use and sexual activity. Study data indicated a possible connection between high levels of texting and networking and high risk behaviors including these observations:

  • Hyper-texting teens were 40 percent more likely to have tried cigarettes and 43 percent more likely to be binge drinkers than non-hyper-texting peers.
  • Hyper-networking teens were 62 percent more likely to have tried cigarettes and 79 percent more likely to have tried alcohol than peers not on social media websites for 3 or more hours a day.

The authors claim the study is not causal in nature, but it may serve to draw attention to the possibility of excessive technology use as an indication of immoderate behavior in other areas of a teenager’s life.

Read more about the study and the conference presentation at the APHA website as well as The Checkup blog at The Washington Post’s website.