Home > Alcohol control policies reduce all-cause mortality in Baltic Countries and Poland between 2001 and 2020.

Vaitkevičiūtė, Justina and Gobiņa, Inese and Janik-Koncewicz, Kinga and Lange, Shannon and Miščikienė, Laura and Petkevičienė, Janina and Radišauskas, Ričardas and Reile, Rainer and Štelemėkas, Mindaugas and Stoppel, Relika and Telksnys, Tadas and Tran, Alexander and Rehm, Jürgen and Zatoński, Witold A and Jiang, Huan (2023) Alcohol control policies reduce all-cause mortality in Baltic Countries and Poland between 2001 and 2020. Scientific Reports, 13, (1), 6326. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-32926-5.

External website: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-32926-5

Alcohol consumption in the Baltic countries and Poland is among the highest globally, causing high all-cause mortality rates. Contrary to Poland, the Baltic countries have adopted many alcohol control policies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) "best buys". The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of these policies, which were implemented between 2001 and 2020, on all-cause mortality. Monthly mortality data for men and women aged 20+ years of age in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland were analysed for 2001 to 2020. A total of 19 alcohol control policies, fulfilling an a-priori defined definition, were implemented between 2001 and 2020 in the countries of interest, and 18 of them could be tested. Interrupted time-series analyses were conducted by employing a generalized additive mixed model (GAMM) for men and women separately. The age-standardized all-cause mortality rate was lowest in Poland and highest in Latvia and had decreased in all countries over the time period. Taxation increases and availability restrictions had short-term effects in all countries, on average reducing the age-standardized all-cause mortality rate among men significantly (a reduction of 2.31% (95% CI 0.71%, 3.93%; p = 0.0045)). All-cause mortality rates among women were not significantly reduced (a reduction of 1.09% (95% CI - 0.02%, 2.20%; p = 0.0554)). In conclusion, the alcohol control policies implemented between 2001 and 2020 reduced all-cause mortality among men 20+ years of age in Baltic countries and Poland, and thus, the practice should be continued.

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