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Study: Female college students more likely to binge drink than males

Study: Female college students more likely to binge drink than males

Researchers also say it takes less alcohol to get women drunk

January 3rd, 2013 by Mark Huffman of ConsumerAffairs in News

It's no secret that many college students tend to overdo it when it comes to consuming alcohol. A number of recent studies have sounded an alarm about students' unhealthy and dangerous behavior.

But a new study from researchers at the University of Vigo, in Spain, found that drinking might be more unhealthy and dangerous for female students. The study concluded female students get drunk faster than males and live a more sedentary life. The results also show that 56.1 of female students are considered binge drinkers as opposed to 41.3 percent of males.

"The amount drunk per unit of time is higher among women," said José Cancela Carral, co-author of the study published by the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. "In other words, even though male students drink more often, females do so more intensively in shorter periods of time, which is known as binge drinking."

The researchers selected 985 students at random to gauge their behavior. Of the females interviewed, 51.2 percent lead a sedentary lifestyle, while the percentage in males is 41.7 percent. While physical activity was low, drug use was fairly high.

"We were also surprised by the high consumption of illegal drugs among university students - 44.9 percent of men and 30.9 percent of women - which we understand could lead to significant future health problems, mainly related to the nervous system," Carral said.

Other studies

New research at the University of North Carolina (UNC), published earlier this year, shows that heavy alcohol use actually rewires brain circuitry, making it harder for alcoholics to recover psychologically following a traumatic experience.

Binge drinking has been identified as a growing problem on college campuses. A 2010 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more

than a quarter of all high school students and adults ages 18 to 34 engaged in binge drinking during the previous month.

The study also showed that each year more than 33 million adults reported binge drinking -- defined as having four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men over a short period of time, usually a couple of hours. And the report said levels of binge drinking have not declined during the past 15 years.