Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess whether alcohol-related community characteristics act collectively to influence individual-level alcohol consumption in the former Soviet Union (fSU).
Methods and results: Using multi-level data from nine countries in the fSU we conducted a factor analysis of seven alcohol-related community characteristics. The association between any latent factors underlying these characteristics and two measures of hazardous alcohol consumption was then analysed using a population average regression modelling approach. Our factor analysis produced one factor with an eigenvalue >1 (EV=1.28), which explained 94% of the variance. This factor was statistically significantly associated with increased odds of CAGE problem drinking (OR=1.40 (1.08-1.82)). The estimated association with EHD was not statistically significant (OR=1.10 (0.85-1.44)).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a high number of beer, wine and spirit advertisements and high alcohol outlet density may work together to create an 'alcogenic' environment that encourages hazardous alcohol consumption in the fSU.
Keywords: Alcohol consumption; Environmental factors; Epidemiologic factors; USSR.
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