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Drinking and Disease: Risks for Women


drinking and disease risks for women



Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of certain diseases and conditions. When it comes to women and alcohol, there are some benefits but also significant risks. Find out what they are.


The table below shows the how much risk of disease women less than 70 years of age face depending on the average number of standard drinks they have per day. It shows long-term decreased/increased risk for five diseases.

Points to note:

  • At lower drinking levels, women experience greater benefits for some conditions such as stroke and diabetes (in green). However, when women drink more alcohol, their risk for these conditions rises faster than for men.
  • At an average of just one standard drink per day, a woman’s risk of developing lethal cirrhosis increases by 139 per cent, compared to 26 per cent for men.
  • Women 70 years of age or older face similar risk levels from drinking for all the listed illnesses.


table on alcohol risk for women

Want to learn more? Take the Alcohol Reality Check

© Adapted from Éduc’alcool’s “Alcohol and Health” series, 2014. Used under license.
Last Updated: January 12, 2017