Changes in liver cirrhosis death rates in different countries in relation to per capita alcohol consumption and Alcoholics Anonymous membership

J Stud Alcohol. 1998 May;59(3):245-9. doi: 10.15288/jsa.1998.59.245.


Objective: This study examines how trends in liver cirrhosis relate to per capita alcohol consumption and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) membership in 33 countries between 1965 and 1991. It was expected that reductions in liver cirrhosis deaths seen in many countries would be related to both decreased consumption and increased AA membership.

Method: Data on liver cirrhosis death rates, alcohol consumption and AA membership were gathered from a variety of international sources. The data were analyzed with regression analyses (Ordinary Least Squares).

Results: Cirrhosis deaths and alcohol consumption levels were positively related in all analyses. In two of the four analyses, the negative relationship between cirrhosis deaths and AA group rates was marginally significant.

Conclusions: Liver cirrhosis rates were strongly related to alcohol consumption and showed some relationship to AA group rates. The modest impact of AA may be due to the weakness of the true relationship but also to incompleteness in the cirrhosis and AA data in some countries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / mortality*
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Alcoholics Anonymous*
  • Cause of Death
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / mortality*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / rehabilitation
  • Organizational Affiliation / trends
  • Regression Analysis