Objective: To identify alcohol-related factors that influence mortality rates from suicide.
Method: We examined the impact of per capita consumption of total alcohol, spirits, beer, and wine; unemployment rate; and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) membership rate on total, male and female suicide mortality rates in Manitoba during 1976 to 1997. Time series analyses with autoregressive integrated moving average modelling were applied to total, male and female suicide rates. The analyses performed included total alcohol consumption, spirits consumption, beer consumption, and wine consumption. Missing AA membership data were interpolated with cubic splines.
Results: Total alcohol consumption, and consumption of beer, spirits, and wine individually, were significantly and positively related to female suicide mortality rates. Spirits and wine were positively related to total and male mortality rates. AA membership rates were negatively related to total and female suicide rates. Unemployment rates were positively related to male and total suicide rates.
Conclusions: The data confirm the important relations between per capita consumption measures and suicide mortality rates. Additionally, the results for AA membership rates are consistent with the hypothesis that AA membership and alcohol abuse treatment can exert beneficial effects observable at the population level.