How much wine is too much wine? Heavy social drinking leads to more deaths among women, study suggests

CYPRESS, Texas – A study from the National Institutes of Health points out a big problem women have with alcohol.

“It’s amazing how women at the end of the day, just to relax, they reach for a bottle of wine,” Dr. Carminia Davidsohn from Kelsey-Seybold in Cypress said.

Women are drinking more socially

Davidsohn said many of her patients justify their alcohol dependency because it’s socially acceptable.

“While they’re cooking they can easily just drink alcohol or wine and think that they’re just cooking but by the end of the cooking session have already consumed more than half a bottle of wine. We see it and it’s very common,” she said.

More women are dying from it at twice the rate as before, according to the study.

“There was a larger increase in alcohol-related illnesses or disease in white women in the last 17 years,” Davidsohn said.

We’re not just talking about major binges. Women who drink more than five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer a day, every day, are considered heavy drinkers.

Health complications can start after a few years of heavy social drinking

It's a deadly habit, especially since many women may not notice the symptoms of liver disease early enough to reverse the symptoms.

“Swelling of the feet, swelling of the abdomen, you can have erythema or redness in the palms and then jaundice is very common. Yellowing of the skin, of the eyes, so we see that,” Davidsohn said. “It’s amazing how just a little bit of shrugging off in the beginning and saying, 'Oh, it’s just one drink or two’ but later on if you stretch that out over a few years, that can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer.”

Partners are enabling each other

Davidsohn said many couples drink together and that fuels this problem.

Men can drink two drinks a day and it’s considered “safe,” but for women it’s half that.

Therefore, doctors struggle getting a female patient to cut down because, at home, it’s often how they’re connecting with partners.

Plus, most people have no idea the correct portion for one drink is five ounces of wine or twelve ounces of beer. If you’re gauging a serving size by the glass you’re pouring it in, chances are you’re drinking too much.