Americans drank more to relieve stress amid pandemic, especially women


While Americans have shifted to heavier alcohol use during the pandemic, studies indicate a concerning pattern among women as they drank to relieve stress, boredom and the pain from social isolation.

Dr. George F. Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told Fox News in an interview that women are generally more sensitive to stress than men.

“Women are more susceptible to major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder, about two-fold over men,” Koob said. “They respond to stress differently and one of our concerns is that, it may not be surprising that women are drinking more to relieve stress given these increases in stress in our society, some of which are social, some of which are pandemic-related.”

One study published in JAMA Network last fall found an overall 14% increase in frequency of drinking among both sexes compared to 2019, with women reporting a 17% uptick in the number of drinking days, and a significant increase (41%) in the number of heavy drinking days, translating to an additional drinking day each month for one in five women.

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