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Thursday, April 26, 2007

News Release: Women’s Early Drinking Problems More Likely to Escape Diagnosis

By M. C. Tapera, Contributing Writer
Health Behavior News Service

Men are more likely than women to experience many of the problems commonly associated with nondependent drinking, according to a new study. But the authors suggest women are prone to different alcohol-related problems that are less likely to be diagnosed.

Penny Nichol, co-author and quantitative psychologist, said the current study is distinguished by how specifically it measures alcohol problems: “We’re not comparing just any man and any woman; we’re comparing men and women with similar levels of problems.”

Balancing such comparisons allowed the University of Minnesota researchers to explore an underlying question: Are the criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence as accurate for women as for men? Nichols said it’s possible that studies “aren’t looking at the correct symptoms” for women.