Excess alcohol consumption has serious adverse effects on health and violence-related harm. In the UK, around 37% of men and 29% of women drink to excess, and 20% and 13% repectively report binge drinking. The potential impact on population health from a reduction in consumption is considerable.
One proposed method to reduce consumption is to reduce availability through controls on alcohol outlet density.
Natural experiment investigating the effect of change in outlet density between 2005 and 2009 in Wales.
Data on outlets are held by the 22 local authorities in Wales under The Licensing Act 2003. Study outcomes are change in:
- Alcohol consumption, using data from annual Welsh Health Surveys;
- Alcohol-related hospital admissions, using the Patient Episode Database for Wales;
- Accident & Emergency (A&E) department attendances between midnight and 6am;
- Alcohol-related violent crime against the person, using police data.
Data will be anonymously record-linked using the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage databank, at individual- and 2001 Census Lower Super Output Area-level. New methods of network analysis will be used to estimate outlet density.
Longitudinal statistical analysis will use:
- Multilevel ordinal models of consumption, and logistic models of hospital admissions and A&E attendance as a function of change in individual outlet exposure (adjusting for confounding variables);
- Spatial models of the change in counts/rates of each outcome measure and outlet density. We will assess the impact on health inequalities and will correct for population migration.
- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) project information webpage
- Fone D, Dunstan F, White J, Webster C, Rodgers S, Lee S, Shiode N, Orford S, Weightman A, Brennan I, Sivarajasingam V, Morgan J, Fry R, Lyons R. ‘Change in alcohol outlet density and alcohol-related harm to population health (CHALICE)’ BMC Public Health 2012, 12:428