Minimum alcohol prices and outlet densities in British Columbia, Canada: Estimated impacts on alcohol-attributable hospital admissions

Tim Stockwell, Jinhui Zhao, Gina Martin, Scott Macdonald, Kate Vallance, Andrew Treno, William Ponicki, Andrew Tu, Jane Buxton

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. We investigated whether periodic increases in minimum alcohol prices were associated with reduced alcohol-attributable hospital admissions in British Columbia. Methods. The longitudinal panel study (2002-2009) incorporated minimum alcohol prices, density of alcohol outlets, and age- and gender-standardized rates of acute, chronic, and 100% alcohol-attributable admissions. We applied mixed-method regression models to data from 89 geographic areas of British Columbia across 32 time periods, adjusting for spatial and temporal autocorrelation, moving average effects, season, and a range of economic and social variables. Results. A 10% increase in the average minimum price of all alcoholic beverages was associated with an 8.95% decrease in acute alcohol-attributable admissions and a 9.22% reduction in chronic alcohol-attributable admissions 2 years later. A Can $ 0.10 increase in average minimum price would prevent 166 acute admissions in the 1st year and 275 chronic admissions 2 years later. We also estimated significant, though smaller, adverse impacts of increased private liquor store density on hospital admission rates for all types of alcoholattributable admissions. Conclusions. Significant health benefits were observed when minimum alcohol prices in British Columbia were increased. By contrast, adverse health outcomes were associated with an expansion of private liquor stores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2014-2020
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume103
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov. 2013

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