Tough al­co­hol poli­cies linked to lower death rates from liver dam­age

Daily Trust - - HEALTH -

States with strong al­co­hol con­trol poli­cies have lower death rates con­nected to al­co­hol­re­lated liver dam­age, a new study finds.

Re­searchers gave states scores based on their al­co­hol con­trol poli­cies, such as taxes, re­tail price re­stric­tions and hours-of-sale lim­its. The stronger the poli­cies, the higher the score.

A 10-point in­crease in the score was as­so­ci­ated with 9 per­cent fewer al­co­holic cir­rho­sis deaths among all women, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors found. Chronic al­co­hol abuse can lead to cir­rho­sis, or scar­ring of the liver.

When Amer­i­can In­dian/Alaska Na­tives were not in­cluded, a 10-point in­crease in a state’s al­co­hol pol­icy score was as­so­ci­ated with 11 per­cent fewer deaths in both sexes, and 18 per­cent fewer al­co­holic cir­rho­sis deaths among women alone, showed.

The strong­est link be­tween al­co­hol poli­cies and al­co­holic cir­rho­sis death rates was in the north­east­ern United States, ac­cord­ing to study au­thor Dr. Scott Had­land, of Har­vard Med­i­cal School and Bos­ton Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, and col­leagues from Bos­ton Univer­sity School of Health and Ge­or­gia State Univer­sity.

How­ever, the study did not prove a cause­and-ef­fect


find­ings re­la­tion­ship be­tween stronger al­co­hol con­trol poli­cies and lower liver-re­lated death rates.

The study was pub­lished online Oct. 15 in the jour­nal Pre­vent­ing Chronic Dis­ease.

The re­sults also add to re­cent re­search show­ing that stronger state al­co­hol con­trol poli­cies are as­so­ci­ated with lower rates of binge drink­ing, the study au­thors noted in a jour­nal news re­lease.

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