Even among women who didn’t have multiple drinks in one sitting, the number of women who drank alcohol daily increased during the pandemic. A study published in the Journal of Gynecology and Women’s Health found a three-fold increase in daily drinking among women, from 5 percent before the pandemic to 16 percent after the arrival of COVID-19.
Those results may be tied, at least in part, to pandemic-induced stress, Dr. Archambeau says. Research has found that COVID-19-related stress was associated with increased alcohol consumption among women, but not men.
“It’s been tough,” Dr. Archambeau says. “There’s a propensity to reach for some kind of release.”
Whatever the reason, alcohol misuse comes with health risks, Dr. Archambeau says, including increased risks for high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, stroke and liver disease. Cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety and insomnia are also potential side effects of heavy drinking.