Nine Charts That Show How White Women Are Drinking Themselves to Death

Dan Keating, Washington Post, December 23, 2016

Drinking is killing twice as many middle-aged white women as it did 18 years ago.

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In 1999, white and Hispanic women had relatively similar rates of death from alcohol, and the rate for black women was considerably higher. But since then, the death rate for blacks has gone down, the death rate for Hispanics has gone up a bit, and the death rate for white women climbed 130 percent.

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Consumption

In the many ways to measure how much people drink, white women stand out again and again. This data on women ages 35 to 54 is taken from the National Health Interview Survey, accessed via IHIS.

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Looking at data on how many days a week people drink, white women stand out as more likely to drink several days a week.

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One interesting twist that we’ll come back to shortly is that women with at least a four-year college degree report drinking more often than women without college degrees. Thirty-one percent of the women with a college degree reported drinking multiple days a week, compared with 21 percent of women with some college and 14 percent of women with a high-school education or less.

Scientists say that heavy drinking—many drinks at a time—can be more dangerous than regular drinking. One-third of white women reported “binge” drinking—having at least four drinks in two hours.

Also, that rate has gone up 40 percent since 1997, while the rate for others is relatively flat. {snip}

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