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Home > The link between per capita alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm in educational groups.

Norström, Thor and Landberg, Jonas . (2020) The link between per capita alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm in educational groups. Drug and Alcohol Review, Early online https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.13114

URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dar.13...

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Research based on individual-level data suggests that the same amount of alcohol yields more harm in low-socioeconomic status (SES) groups than in high-SES groups. Little is known whether the effect of changes in population-level alcohol consumption on harm rates differs by SES-groups. The aim of this study was to elucidate this issue by estimating the association between per capita alcohol consumption and SES-specific rates of alcohol-related mortality.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Per capita alcohol consumption was proxied by Systembolaget's alcohol sales (litres 100% alcohol per capita 15+). Quarterly data on mortality and alcohol consumption spanned the period 1991Q1-2017Q4. We used two outcomes: (i) alcohol-specific mortality (deaths with an explicit alcohol diagnosis); and (ii) violent deaths. SES was measured by education. We used three educational groups: (i) low (<10 years); (ii): intermediate (10-12 years); and (iii) high (13+ years). We applied error correction modelling to estimate the association between alcohol and alcohol-specific mortality, and seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average-modelling to estimate the association between alcohol and violent deaths.

RESULTS: The estimated associations between per capita consumption and the two outcomes were positive and statistically significant in the two groups with low and intermediate education, but not in the high education group. There was a significant gradient in the level of association between alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm by educational group; the association was stronger the lower the educational group.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the association between per capita consumption and alcohol-related harm was stronger the lower the educational group.


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