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Hangovers Might Indicate a Drinking Problem

Women Get Worse
Hangovers Than Men

By BuddyT

Women who drink a bit too much alcohol run the risk of getting a hangover and their symptoms will be worse that their male friends who drank even more.

As far as alcohol goes, women just can't get a break.

Women not only get intoxicated on less alcohol than men they also suffer worse hangovers. Even accounting for the differences in the amount of alcohol consumed, hangovers will affect women more, according to researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia

Higher Degrees of Intoxication

"This finding makes biological sense, because women tend to weigh less and have lower percentages of total body water than men do, so they should achieve higher degrees of intoxication and, presumably, more hangover per unit of alcohol," Wendy Slutske, an associate professor of psychology who led the team, said.

The researchers asked 1,230 drinking college students how often they experienced 13 symptoms associated with hangovers after drinking -- from dehydration, headaches and vomiting to feeling weak and unable to concentrate.

Most students had been hung over between three and 11 times in the previous year. On average, students experienced five of the 13 symptoms at least once during that period.

Hangovers a Factor in Problem Drinking

"We were surprised to discover how little research had been conducted on hangover, because the research that does exist suggests that hangover could be an important factor in problem drinking," said Thomas Piasecki, an assistant professor of clinical psychology who took part in the study.

"While hangover is a serious phenomenon among college drinkers, for most of them it occurs rarely enough that it is unlikely to have a major deleterious impact on academic performance," Slutske said.

The study also found that hangovers were more common in students who reported having alcohol-related problems or who had one or both biological parents with a history of alcohol-related problems.

Source: Slutske WS, et al. "Development and Initial Validation of the Hangover Symptoms Scale: Prevalence and Correlates of Hangover Symptoms in College Students." Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research DOI: 10.1097/01.ALC.0000085585.81711.AE

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