(HealthDay News)  Binge drinking, a risk factor for many health and social issues, is relatively common among women and girls in the United States, and those who binge drink tend to do so often, according to research published in the Jan. 8 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Dafna Kanny, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to evaluate the prevalence, frequency, and intensity of binge drinking, described as ≥4 drinks in one setting, among U.S. women ≥18 years old. They also analyzed the 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey to determine the degree of alcohol use and binge drinking in high school-aged girls.

The researchers found that 12.5% of adult women engaged in binge drinking, generally about three times per month, consuming 5.7 drinks on one occasion. This was most common in women aged 1834 years. In high school-aged girls, 37.9% acknowledged current use of alcohol, 19.8% reported binge drinking, and of those who reported current alcohol use, 54.6% binge drank.

“More widespread implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as those recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, would be expected to reduce the frequency and intensity, and ultimately the prevalence of binge drinking among women and girls, and the harms related to it,” the authors write.

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