Women may be surprised with CDC’s distinction between ‘moderate’ and ‘heavy’ drinking

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's not unusual for women to get together for a few drinks or to socialize at happy hour. Whether it's celebrating a promotion, or unwinding after a tough day, often the company of friends includes wine or mixed drinks.

A recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control shows those little occasions can add up, and women need to pay attention. Are you an excessive drinker? The answer may surprise you.

Multiple studies say moderate drinkers face a lower risk of dying from heart disease. Studies show moderate drinkers are most likely to be at a healthy weight and are less likely to get type two diabetes or gall stones.

Moderation is the key, and most of the women FOX 4 spoke with were shocked to hear what adds up to 'heavy drinking.'

The Centers for Disease Control says eight alcoholic drinks a week for a woman makes her a heavy drinker.

“That`s insane. I think that`s insane,” said one woman.

Dr. Jamie Wagner is a breast cancer surgeon at University of Kansas Hospital and she says the CDC`s guidelines are right on.

“I start to get worried if I`m hearing actually over a couple of drinks a day,” Dr. Wagner said.

So what can eight drinks a week do to a woman's body?

“Extreme intakes of alcohol can lead to an increased risk for breast cancer,” Dr. Wagner explained.

Other doctors from the University of Kansas agree. They say too much alcohol is toxic for nearly every vital part of a woman`s body from trouble with heart weakness to bone health.

For more information from the CDC, click on this link.