Adolescent women are three times more likely than men of the same age to blackout from binge drinking alcohol, a new study has found.
Additionally, young women are almost twice as likely as men to blackout from drinking the same amount of alcohol, possibly due to differences in metabolism.
Australia's National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre found about 10 percent of 14-year-olds who drank alcohol had experienced a blackout, and the rate of blackouts rose throughout high school. By the age of 19, nearly half of all young people who drank alcohol had blacked out, and of these people, approximately 14 percent had experienced five or more blackouts.
The eight-year study tracked the drinking behaviour of 1821 people in New South Wales, Western Australia, and Tasmania, starting from when they were 13 years old. Participants were asked when they started drinking alcohol, if they had any alcohol-related blackouts, and if they had abused alcohol or become addicted to it.
Wing See Yuen, the lead author for the study, says young people tended to know about the behavioural risk of blackouts but didn't know there was a difference in risk between men and women.
The Ministry of Health describes binge drinking as drinking alcohol heavily over a short period with the intention of getting drunk, and gives a warning about the "serious health effects".
"Drinking large amounts of alcohol can result in confusion, blurred vision, poor muscle control, nausea, vomiting, sleep, coma or even death," it says.
"It can also impair a person's judgement and decision-making ability, which can increase the risk that they may do silly things and put themselves in dangerous situations."