"Women might have unprotected sex, place themselves in a situation where they can be raped or not be fully capable of protecting themselves," said Marc A Schuckit, professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Diego. While men can get into fights, use very bad judgment regarding another person and are often the driver when blackouts can lead to a car accident.

"Blackouts are frightening and potentially tragic for both men and women,"  Schuckit warned. They also found that not all but certain adolescents in age group 15-19 with particular characteristics are more likely to drink to the point of blackouts and experience the accompanying additional alcohol-related dangers.

For the study, the team evaluated the pattern of occurrence of alcohol-induced blackouts in 1,402 drinking adolescents (837 females, 565 males) in Britain."Our results showed that blackouts were common and repetitive in these young British subjects," Schuckit noted. For example, 30 percent of those who drank reported alcohol-related blackouts at age of 15 and 74 percent reported alcohol-related blackouts at age of 19.

"No matter what country, when kids are drinking, they are not likely to understand what is going on with their systems and how dangerous it can be. And if they are drinking to the point of having blackouts, this is dangerous," the authors said. The results are set to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


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