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Before You Toast, How Much Wine Is too Much?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A rising trend among women may not be the latest styles on department store racks or accessory must-haves.  Instead, it may be a social adornment: a wine glass.

Ladies are consuming more wine than ever before, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  But when the clock chimes wine o’clock too often, could it be harmful?

Nearly 5.3 million American women admit to drinking in a way that is potentially dangerous, as reported by a recent NIH study.  And in an online poll conducted by the team at ABC's Katie, nearly half of women surveyed said that they have an alcoholic beverage at least six times a week.

Gabrielle Glaser, author of Her Best-Kept Secret, says that women account for nearly two-thirds of the 784 million gallons of wine sold in the United States.

Glaser explains that this may have a twofold reasoning; because women have become the target market for wine advertising and drinking wine is a newly accepted cultural norm.

“You see that in the labels of wine…that are marketed directly to women,” she said.  “Wine has become culturally respectable as something to relax with, and I think the problem is that a lot of women take it too far.”

That’s when, according to Glaser, women may become frightened, even ashamed.  She also says that she thinks modern drinking habits have become intertwined with motherhood.

“Women are having children later, [and] they may have had a career where they were accustomed to going out for a drink after work,” Glaser explains.  “And let’s say you decide to stop working, and you stay at home with your children, there’s a lot of fun that you miss from that life, and yet the alcohol habit, turning to alcohol is already there.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio