People born after the World War II era -- especially women -- are more likely than their ancestors to binge drink and develop alcohol disorders, according to a new review of studies.
The analysis of 31 studies revealed that "problem drinking among young women is still on the rise," study researcher Richard A. Grucza, an epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine, said in a statement. And because the rates of binge drinking are rising among women, so are the risks of alcohol-related problems.
The review, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, also showed that the binge-drinking gap between men and women is shrinking.
WebMD talked to addiction therapist Paul Leslie Hokemeyer, Ph.D., to find why the trend seems to fit within this post-WWII time frame.
"After World War II, the role of women changed. More women entered the work force, but they were also expected to be good mothers and wives," Hokemeyer told WebMD. To deal with the extra pressures, some women "latched hold of alcohol as a coping mechanism because it is readily available and socially acceptable."
However, this binge drinking trend did not translate over to western Europe or Australia, PsychCentral reported. That could be because the United States generally has more non-drinkers than those countries, though the number of non-drinkers is getting smaller.
Women who are addicted to alcohol have extra health risks, including alcohol poisoning, cirrhosis, cancer and being the victims of violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women who are dependent on alcohol wait longer before having kids, according to a recent study. Pregnant women who drink alcohol also put a risk on their children of developing fetal alcohol syndrome.
Women who binge drink could also risk their bladder rupturing, ABC News reported.