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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1983;18 Suppl 1:349-54.

Acute alcohol intoxication, mood states and alcohol metabolism in women and men.


The course of alcohol absorption and elimination was investigated in seven women and nine men administered a moderate (0.66 ml/kg) dose of 95% ethanol. Women were tested during the postmenstrual phase (Day 6-7), when levels of estrogen and progesterone were estimated to be relatively low. Data reflecting alterations in physical sensations, perceived levels of intoxication, and positive and negative mood states were also collected. Women reached significantly higher peak blood alcohol concentrations (BAC's) than men (p less than 0.01). However, differences in peak BAC's between men and women could be explained by differences in body water content between the sexes. When the raw data on BAC's were corrected for differences in body water content between men and women, no difference in the amount of alcohol metabolized, or in the length of time necessary to metabolize that amount of alcohol, could be found between the sexes. Although women attained higher blood and, presumably, brain levels of ethanol, men did not differ from women in perceived levels of intoxication, physical sensations and mood states. Acute alcohol intoxication appeared to elevate positive mood states during the ascending limb of the BAC curve, but was associated with increased negative affect during the descending limb.

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