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New Study Links Regional Alcohol Sales to Death Rates

January 7, 2015
Public Health

pintA study led by NHS Health Scotland and published in the journal BMC Public Health has linked regional alcohol sales with alcohol-related deaths for the first time.

Researchers found that alcohol sales per adult were highest in the South West, Central Scotland, North East, North West and Yorkshire. They were lower than average in London, Central England and the East of England.

Previous studies have concentrated on self-reported alcohol consumption, a method which Mark Robinson, public health information manager at NHS Scotland, believes led to inaccurate findings. “Our study provides support for the relationship between alcohol consumption and alcohol-related mortality across regions in Great Britain, which hasn’t always been the case using survey data to estimate consumption,” he said. “Future studies should consider the use of data from a range of different sources to provide a better understanding of alcohol consumption in GB, its relationship with alcohol-related harms, and the impact of different alcohol policy approaches.”

The study found that Central Scotland had substantially higher spirits sales than any other region, while more beer was consumed in the North of England. The low volume of sales in London was due to fewer sales through off licenses. Sales data was obtained from market researchers for the years 2010 and 2011.

 You can view the full study here