October 8, 2008

Alcohol Abuse By Young, Women Rising in Greece

Alcohol abuse by young, women rising in Greece

ATHENS, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Doctors have warned of an alarming rise in the number of young people and women that consume excessive amounts of alcohol in Greece, saying that hospitals were having to deal with more patients in these groups suffering from problems linked to drinking alcohol.

According to a report by Athens News Agency on Tuesday, the head of the Greek Society for Liver Research Evangelos Akriviadis said 17 percent of boys and 9 percent of girls in Greece aged 15 to 20 drink alcohol at least 10 times a month. The rising use of alcohol among women is another cause for concern, since they are physically less resistant to the adverse effects of alcohol than men.

"The abuse of alcohol is responsible for 15-20 percent of patients hospitalized with cirrhosis and about 10 percent of patients that present with primary cancer of the liver," Akriviadis said in a press conference held on Tuesday to announce a seminar taking place in Thessaloniki on October 11 to inform and sensitize the public to the problems.

"In just one clinic in this city, we are dealing with two to three young patients on a daily basis, who require hospitalization because of alcohol-related liver damage. A few years ago this would have been considered bizarre," he noted.

Equally rare in the past were women patients but this was no longer the case, since women were drinking more and were more at risk from its toxic effect because of their greater fat reserves.

"There is a fine line between use and abuse," he pointed out, adding that more and more people of every age appeared to be crossing this line in recent years.

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