Alcohol-associated liver disease is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the United States. Previously alcohol-associated liver disease was known to affect men more often than women; however, this gap between the sexes is narrowing. Studies show that women develop liver disease with lesser alcohol exposure and suffer worse disease as compared with men. This review article explores the increasing prevalence of alcohol-associated liver disease in women, reasons for changing patterns in alcohol consumption and liver disease development including obesity and bariatric surgery, proposed mechanisms of sex-specific differences in alcohol metabolism that may account for this discrepancy between men and women, and sex differences in treatment enrollment and response. Studies were identified by performing a literature search of PubMed and Google Scholar and through review of the references in retrieved articles. Search terms included alcohol-associated liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis, sex, gender, female, epidemiology, bariatric surgery, obesity, treatment. Due to the paucity of literature on some of the relevant subject matter and inclusion of landmark studies, no date range was selected. Studies were included if their methods were sufficiently robust and they made a comparison between the sexes that is clinically relevant. Understanding of the changing epidemiology and mechanisms of liver disease development unique to women are paramount in creating appropriate and effective interventions for women who represent a rapidly growing subset of patients with alcohol-associated liver disease.
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