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

Health Place. 2015 May;33:172-80. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.02.014. Epub 2015 Apr 2.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / mortality
  • Alcoholic Beverages / supply & distribution*
  • Cities
  • Commerce
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality, Premature*
  • Poverty Areas
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult