Moderate Drinking May Benefit Women Even More than Men

Women may enjoy more health benefits from light to moderate drinking than men, according to research.

"Light to moderate consumption and more frequent drinking were associated with better general health and physical functioning for both genders, but these effects appear to be stronger for women than for men," according to a study by Dr. Carla Green of Oregon Health and Science University and her colleagues at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), found that women tend to be healthier and feel better if they consume one or two drinks a day. A drink is a 12-ounce beer, a five ounce glass of dinner wine, or a shot (1.5 ounces) of liquor or distilled spirits (vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, rum, etc.).

The study also found that significantly more women than men report both moderate drinking patterns and excellent overall health.

The report is published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


  • Green C. A., Perrin N. A., and Polen, M. R. Gender differences in the relationships between multiple measures of alcohol consumption and physical and mental health. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2004; 28(5), 754-764; Scanlon, Bill. Moderate drinking is good for women, research finds. Scripps Howard News Service. May 20, 2004; Ham, Becky. Women may benefit more from moderate drinking. Health Behavior News Service, May 14, 2004; Women may benefit more from moderate drinking. Fashion Monitor Toronto, February 6, 2006.

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