Dr. Bob Brewer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says binge drinking is defined as men drinking five or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time or women drinking four or more drinks within a short period of time.
Women who binge drink tend to drink more than four drinks -- on average U.S. women who binge drink have six drinks at a time and might binge three times, on average, in a month, Brewer said.
"It actually is a big problem across the lifespan," Brewer said in a statement. "It isn't just a problem with high school girls or college-age women. In fact, it continues well into middle age and beyond."
For example, 18-34 is the age group with the most binge drinkers, but those age 65 and older is the age group that binge drinks most often.
In women, binge drinking increases the chances of breast cancer, heart disease and many other health problems. Drinking at all during pregnancy can lead to sudden infant death syndrome and fetal alcohol disorder in the child.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines on alcohol consumption recommend no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Pregnant women and underage youth should not drink alcohol.
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