By David B. Cooper
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Identification with a drinking group has a stronger effect on drinking pattern than membership of a special demographic group. Social norms, socialising and modelling do not account for all of the observed differences in young adults' behaviour. Other social factors influence their drinking as well: gender, age, social class and religion are all important. There is considerable evidence that drinking patterns depend somewhat on gender. In every society young men drink more often than young women in the same age category.
The most severely affected children have learning disabilities. Damage occurs during the first few weeks of conception and in the last trimester when brain growth is maximal. 25 Caution is 36 Alcohol use necessary, however, because such children often come from dysfunctional and socially deprived families, in whom smoking and illicit drug use as well as alcohol is common. How best to counsel women about drinking during pregnancy? 26 Lungs Chronic bronchitis, aggravated by heavy smoking, is frequent; there is a fourfold increase in risk of complicating heart failure.
Prompt administration of thiamine by injection in the first instance arrests the acute features, but many patients are left with the memory disturbances of Korsakoff's syndrome which do not respond to thiamine. Peripheral neuropathy (neuritis) - pins and needles, numbness and burning discomfort in the legs, sometimes with difficulty in walking - occurs more frequently in women than men. Thought to be due to a combination of thiamine deficiency and a direct toxic effect of alcohol, slow improvement over many months may follow abstinence but not by administration of thiamine alone.
Alcohol Use by David B. Cooper