Women match men for binge drinking

Women are top of a European study into binge drinking and are now just as likely to binge on alcohol as men

Nearly 8 per cent of British women are ‘ladettes’, according to a European study which found that in every other country, men out-drank women.

Experts warn that binge drinking takes a bigger toll on the heart and liver than spreading the same amount of alcohol over a number of days. They are urgently calling for GPs to address their patients drinking habits.

‘It is quite fashionable for footballers to drink heavily, to trash places,’ says Professor Irwin Nazareth, GP and researcher at University College London. ‘The image that young people get is that that is an acceptable thing to do.

‘It is considered a bit edgy, risky and fashionable. They are the role models for the younger generation.’ The study of 6,500 people found 4.5 per cent were considered binge drinkers, meaning theydown six or more drinks in one sitting, at least once a month.

The highest rate in Europe was in the Netherlands where 8.4 per cent of people binge drink, followed by Britain at 8.1 per cent. But the rate of binge drinking British women was most worry finding 7.7 per cent fall into that category compared to 8.9 per cent of men.

The journal of Alcohol and Alcoholism reports Britons were the most likely to progress from binge drinkers to being classified as heavy drinkers.

Prof Mark Bellis from Liverpool John Moores University, says: ‘People don’t realise the dangers associated with binging.’

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