Alcohol consumption and liver cirrhosis mortality after lifting ban on beer sales in country with state alcohol monopoly

Eur J Public Health. 2015 Aug;25(4):729-31. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cku127. Epub 2014 Jul 31.


Background: The objectives were to study alcohol consumption per capita and liver cirrhosis mortality in the population of Iceland.

Methods: The Statistic Iceland website supplied alcohol sales figures and death rates.

Results: The alcohol consumption increased 30% during the study period 1982-2009, because of increase in beer and wine, and decrease in spirits consumption. Chronic liver cirrhosis mortality increased significantly for men when comparing the 1982-88 rates (before beer ban was lifted) with the rates for 2003-09.

Conclusion: The findings do not support the suggestion that spirits consumption rather than the total alcohol consumption affect the cirrhosis mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Beverages / statistics & numerical data
  • Beer / statistics & numerical data*
  • End Stage Liver Disease / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iceland / epidemiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / mortality*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology