CBC: Binge-drinking sending more young women to ER, ‘eye-opening’ study finds

Dr. Peter Tanuseputro is a physician-scientist at the Ottawa Hospital and the Bruyère Research Institute. (Julie Ireton/CBC)

More young people in Ontario — especially young women — are ending up in hospital emergency departments because of excessive alcohol use, according to a new study from scientists in Ottawa.

The research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday, looked at a total of 765,354 emergency room visits in Ontario due to alcohol use between 2003 and 2016.

Researchers found that emergency department visits due to alcohol increased 86 per cent for women and 53 per cent for men.

“It’s eye-opening,” said Dr. Peter Tanuseputro, a family doctor and scientist at the Ottawa Hospital and the Bruyère Research Institute.

(Ottawa Hospital Research Institute)

Excessive drinking, blacking out, and the need for detox led to the emergency room visits, as well as more serious liver or pancreas illnesses.

“I think all of society, to be quite frank, needs to see this this data,” said Tanuseputo.

“It’s a responsibility of all of society to look at these numbers. Look how sobering they are and make sure that the trends don’t continue.”

240% more ER visits in 1 age group

This upward trend is consistent with previous studies suggesting the average weekly alcohol consumption in Ontario and elsewhere is increasing, according to the researchers.

“The largest increase over this period was among women were ages 25 to 29, and in this group we saw a 240 per cent increase in visits to the ER because of alcohol,” Tanuseputro said.

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