The negative effects of alcohol are much more evident and alarming for women than they are for men. According to the CDC, women start to have alcohol-related problems sooner and at lower drinking levels than men. But what causes women to face higher risks when it comes to drinking alcohol?
Biological differences in body structure and chemistry mean that women absorb more alcohol and take longer to process it.
Additionally, women typically weigh less than men. A lower body mass means that less alcohol is needed to affect women.
These effects usually occur faster and also last longer than they do for men. However, other differences also make women more susceptible to the health risks associated with alcohol.
Blood Alcohol Levels
BAC is the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, and the higher this concentration, the greater the risk. A relatively low amount of alcohol is enough to increase blood alcohol levels in women, which means alcohol is more likely to cause harm to their overall health.
Alcohol resides predominantly in the water of the body. Pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men. This means that if a woman and a man drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tends to be higher because there is less water in her body.