Women Hit the Bottle Hard During COVID-19

Adults started drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic, but women not only drank more frequently, but also reported significant increases in heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems, a national survey found.

Overall frequency of alcohol consumption among adults ages 30-80 increased 14% versus 2019, with increases of 17% for women, reported Michael Pollard, PhD, of RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, which administers the survey, and colleagues.

Other demographic groups experiencing increases in frequency of alcohol consumption included non-Hispanic whites (up 19% vs 2019) and adults ages 30-59 (up 10%), the team wrote in a research letter in JAMA Network Open.

Nielsen surveys showed a 54% increase in national sales of alcohol for the week of March 21 versus a year ago, Pollard and colleagues noted, as stay-at-home orders began in U.S. states and the World Health Organization warned that alcohol use during this time may “exacerbate health concerns and

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