According to the journal JAMA Network Open, “Americans over 30 have been drinking more during the coronavirus pandemic compared to this time last year.”
According to the U.S. survey, women are drinking more during the pandemic. With the alcohol consumption frequency spike about 14% from 2019, women drinking frequency increased by 17%, people aged between 30 and 59 years by 19%, and White people by 10%.
Michael Pollard, a sociologist of RAND Corporation, and his colleagues conducted a survey that includes 1,540 people ages 30 to 80. The survey was done to determine their drinking habits between April 29, 2019 and June 9, 2019 and then again between May 28, 2020 and June 16, 2020.
The participants reported they drank alcohol on more days every week. They also reported increases in the number of drinks they had, heavy drinking days; and the number of alcohol-related problems over the last 30 days between 2019 and 2020.
According to the survey, “Heavy drinking in women increased by 41%. It is about one additional day of heavy drinking for one in every five women. Moreover, nearly 1 in 10 women reported an increase in alcohol-related problems.”
According to Pollard, the survey itself doesn’t prove that the rise in alcohol consumption is due to the pandemic. However, other studies suggest that people are consuming more alcohol to overcome their anxiety and depression, which increased in the early days of the pandemic.
Pollard also offered some relevant theories about shifting trends among women. He said that women report a higher level of depression than men. That may have made women particularly vulnerable to mental health issues during COVID-19, leading to greater alcohol use to cope in response.
Negative consequences of drinking alcohol
No matter whatever the cause is, a spike in alcohol consumption can affect the physical health and mental health of drinkers. This makes it crucial for health practitioners to make people aware of alcohol consumption increase and its side-effects.
Here is a list of side-effects of drinking alcohol:
- Increase in weight due to more intake of calories. When people drink alcohol, they tend to eat more – usually food high in fat and salts.
- Lower blood pressure levels
- Decrease ability to control blood glucose if you have diabetes,
- Cause restless sleep
- Increased forgetfulness
- Cause a loss of muscle.
Want to know more about the negative consequences of alcohol consumption, stay tuned to the WiseRx Discount Card blog!