Women in their mid-20s, who reported frequent binge drinking during the Covid-19 pandemic, were more likely to become infected with Covid-19, finds a new study.
The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found that young women aged 25 to 28 who reported binge drinking - four or more drinks in one sitting - had the highest self-reported prevalence of Covid-19 infection among the subgroups studied.
"Our research shows that when young women binge drink, they are also heightening their risk of contracting Covid-19. This can be due to several factors associated with binge drinking, such as being less vigilant in using preventive behaviour such as social distancing when intoxicated," said Tammy Chung from Rutgers University.
For the study, the team analysed whether people's use of alcohol and substances changed from before the Covid-19 pandemic to during the pandemic in a sample of young women.
They examined how characteristics such as socioeconomic status and Covid-19 infection status were associated with certain patterns of substance and alcohol use during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The study looked at seven subgroups of young women who showed similar patterns of substance use before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Groups included those with low use of substances, cannabis use, binge drinking, cigarette or e-cigarette use combined with binge drinking and other patterns.