Study finds high rates of binge drinking, smoking for women
MADISON, Wis. - A study published Wednesday in the Wisconsin Medical Journal found a quarter of the state's women are binge drinking and smoking - way beyond what researchers believe is healthy.
The report said 24 percent of Wisconsin women surveyed reported binge drinking - consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in one sitting - in the last 30 days, compared with a national average of 16 percent.
And the same number of Wisconsin women said they were smokers, compared with a national average of 22 percent.
The telephone survey was conducted by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers, the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, based on statistics from the federal Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
But researchers also found Wisconsin women fare better than the national average in diabetes-related deaths, heart disease, obesity, breast cancer and homicide.
To meet the goals of a federal initiative to improve American health by 2010, the rate of women's binge drinking in Wisconsin would have to drop 75 percent by then, and smoking by 50 percent, the researchers said.
The goal is to cut women's binge drinking nationwide to 6 percent and smoking to 12 percent.
"Those numbers do stick out," said Lisette Jehn, scientific development coordinator for the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation and a co-author of the study. "From our perspective, the things that stand out are the things that we're doing really well in."
Previous studies have found Wisconsin has high rates of binge drinking and smoking in both men and women.