Millions of people across the U.S are affected by the alcohol consumption of other people, a study finds. The research paper reported that women and children are among the victims of "secondhand" drinking.

The study was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs last week and focussed on how the people in the U.S are affected by alcohol consumption of other people. According to the researchers, an average of 53 million people per year in the country are affected by alcohol consumption of other people.

In other words, one in every five adult in the U.S has experienced harm due to a relative, a friend or even a stranger’s drinking habit. The effects of someone else’s drinking include harassment or threats, physical aggression, vandalism or ruined property, harms related to driving or various types of family or financial problems.

The study stated that around 23 percent of men and 21 percent of women were reported to be the victims of alcohol consumption by other people. While women were reported to be affected by a partner, spouse or a family member, men were likely to be affected by a stranger’s drinking habits.

The researchers also wrote in the study that women were also subject to financial and family harms due to second-hand drinking. Meanwhile, younger generation reported of experiencing all types of effects except physical aggression.

“Being of Black/other ethnicity, being separated/widowed/divorced, and having a college education without a degree each predicted physical aggression harm,” the scientists wrote.

“The harmed individual’s own heavy drinking and having a heavy drinker in the household increased risk for all alcohol’s harm to others (AHTO) types. The risk for physical aggression due to someone else’s drinking was particularly elevated for heavy drinking women,” they added.

The researchers concluded the study by stating that “secondhand effects of alcohol in the United States are substantial and affected by socio demographics, the harmed (sic) individual’s own drinking, and the presence of a heavy drinker in the household. Broad-based and targeted public health measures that consider AHTO risk factors are needed to reduce alcohol’s secondhand harms”.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimated that nearly 88,000 people in the US die because of alcohol-related causes annually. The Institute considers alcohol consumption as the third major preventable cause of death in the country.

"Control policies, such as alcohol pricing, taxation, reduced availability and restricting advertising, may be the most effective ways to reduce not only alcohol consumption but also alcohol’s harm to persons other than the drinker," lead researcher Madhabika Nayak said.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data of 8,750 adult men and women above 18 years. The details were collected from two different studies -- the National Alcohol's Harm to Others Survey and the National Alcohol Survey -- conducted through computer-assisted telephone interviews in 2015.

The current research was led by Madhabika B Nayak, who is a researcher from the Alcohol Research Group, which is a program led by the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California. The research was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Heavy alcohol use could increase the risk of cancer, pictured is a customer drinking an IPA beer at a brewery Feb. 7, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California. Getty Images