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According to researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, being young and in shape does not appear to aid women in recovering from a night of drinking. Their study suggests that the speed at which alcohol is cleared from the bloodstream is influenced by factors such as lean body mass and age. Surprisingly, older and obese women were found to eliminate alcohol 52 percent faster than their younger and slimmer counterparts.

Alcohol elimination rate depends on body weight

Study leader Professor M. Yanina Pepino said that there is a strong correlation between lean body mass of individuals and their rate of alcohol elimination. The relationship could be due to the relationship between lean liver tissue, the liver part that metabolizes alcohol and lean body mass.

This study conducted a secondary data analysis on two previous studies conducted at the University of Illinois and Indiana University. The purpose was to estimate the rate of alcohol metabolism in the body. The review included 143 women aged 21 to 64, with varying body mass indices (BMI) ranging from healthy to morbid overweightness. Out of the participants, 19 women had undergone bariatric surgery.

Researchers analyzed their body compositions and BMI in 102 women in the study. The women were categorized into three groups based on their BMI: normal weight, overweight, and obese. The results showed that higher BMI was associated with increased amounts of both fat and lean tissue.

Obese women have higher alcohol elimination rate

In the studies the alcohol clam technique was applied through IV infusion of alcohol. Infusion rates were personalized based on participant characteristics and programmed to reach and maintain a target blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.06 percent for two hours.

First study author Neda Seyedsadjadi said that they found that individuals with a high body mass index eliminated alcohol faster than those with a low BMI especially in older women. Seyedsadjadi added that the mean alcohol elimination rate was 6 grams an hour for the healthy cohort and 7 grams per hour for the overweight individuals, and 9 grams an hour for the obese group.