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Idaho State University

ISU Boise Center Research Looks at Alcohol Consumption, Women's Health

Boise - Research conducted at the Idaho State University Boise Center may help scientists understand more about moderate drinking and its relationship to health and thinking abilities among women age 50 to 65.

Dr. Laura Tivis, research associate professor in the Institute of Rural Health was recently awarded a four-year research grant through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (NIAAA) for her project, "Alcohol, ERT and Cognition in Postmenopausal Women." This award will allow her to continue the work she has been conducting over the last several years.

The purpose of the project is to see if moderate alcohol consumption, physical and emotional health are related to performance on tests of learning, memory and other thinking abilities.

"We still do not know a lot about how moderate drinking impacts women over time," Tivis said. "There are many different ways alcohol can impact us. We know that heavy drinking affects a women's body differently than a man's."

"There are studies that have shown moderate drinking may be good for us, and we need to be very careful how we interpret this information," she said. "In a healthy person there might be some benefit from moderate drinking, which is defined by U.S. Dietary Guidelines as up to one drink a day for women. However the balance between risk and benefit is difficult because of differences in health and susceptibility to illness. Thus, we cannot say that moderate drinking is good for everyone. Even moderate drinking carries significant risks, such as an increased chance of vehicle accidents and interactions with certain medications."

Tivis hopes to study 180 women. The project is being conducted at the ISU Boise Center, 12301 W. Explorer Drive, Suite 102.

Research volunteers are currently being accepted. The study requires two visits of six to seven hours each per visit. The two visits will be about one year apart. No alcohol is administered during the visits. Compensation for time, laboratory test results and bone density testing are provided to all participants.

For more information contact Dr. Laura Tivis at 373-1775 or