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Is local alcohol outlet density related to alcohol-related morbidity and mortality in Scottish cities?

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Place
Early online date2 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2015


Alcohol consumption may be influenced by the local alcohol retailing environment. This study is the first to examine neighbourhood alcohol outlet availability (on- and off-sales outlets) and alcohol-related health outcomes in Scotland. Alcohol-related hospitalisations and deaths were significantly higher in neighbourhoods with higher outlet densities, and off-sales outlets were more important than on-sales outlets. The relationships held for most age groups, including those under the legal minimum drinking age, although were not significant for the youngest legal drinkers (18-25 years). Alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations were higher in more income-deprived neighbourhoods, and the gradient in deaths (but not hospitalisations) was marginally larger in neighbourhoods with higher off-sales outlet densities. Efforts to reduce alcohol-related harm should consider the potentially important role of the alcohol retail environment.

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