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.
Keywords: Alcohol outlets; Drinking; Hospitalization; Mortality; Scotland.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.