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Those who drink above the NIAAA limits are engaged in what is often termed risky or hazardous use, which is a pattern of alcohol consumption that increases the risk of harmful consequences for the user or others.Harmful use is alcohol consumption that results in consequences to physical and mental health.For men up to the age of 65, these limits are no more than four drinks in one day AND no more than 14 drinks in a week.For nonpregnant women up to the age of 65, and for both healthy men and women over the age of 65, the recommended limits are no more than three drinks in one day AND no more than seven drinks in a week.One positive difference: Women seem to eliminate alcohol from their bodies faster than men.Hormonal fluctuations in women may affect how alcohol is metabolized.
However, death can occur from alcohol poisoning at lower levels, especially for women.Women who have chronic health conditions or take certain medications may have increased risks from drinking alcohol.Additionally, health care providers are less likely to detect increased alcohol use in men and women over age 65.At the low end is abstinence, or avoidance of alcohol altogether.
Low-risk drinking is defined as drinking within the recommended limits published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
It is most common among women between the ages of 18 to 25.