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Gender difference seen in behavior of at-risk drinkers during Super Bowl

January 31, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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While it hardly comes as shocking news that adults who engage in harmful alcohol use are especially susceptible to risky behavior on Super Bowl Sunday, a study from the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions offers the intriguing finding that this danger is significantly more potent for men.

Women may have been the fastest-growing segment of pro football fans in recent years, but when institute researchers tracked drinking behavior over a three-year period, at-risk women drank more on Super Bowl Sunday than on the typical high-use day only once in the three years examined.

Men, on the other hand, drank more on average on the day of the game in each of the three years looked at in the study. The research encompassed 200 adult men and women who reported hazardous and harmful alcohol use, and compared consumption on Super Bowl Sunday to typical consumption on a Saturday, generally the highest-drinking day of the week.

“Celebratory drinking is well-documented among young adults, but little is known about the phenomenon beyond young adulthood,” Ronda Dearing, PhD, the study's lead author and a senior research scientist at the institute, said in a news release. “It is important that further study is undertaken to learn more about the risk factors and negative consequences of celebratory drinking among adults.”

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) funded the study, results of which are scheduled to be published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.

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