Adjusting for unrecorded consumption in survey and per capita sales data: quantification of impact on gender- and age-specific alcohol-attributable fractions for oral and pharyngeal cancers in Great Britain

Meier, P. S. , Meng, Y., Holmes, J., Baumberg, B., Purshouse, R., Hill-McManus, D. and Brennan, A. (2013) Adjusting for unrecorded consumption in survey and per capita sales data: quantification of impact on gender- and age-specific alcohol-attributable fractions for oral and pharyngeal cancers in Great Britain. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 48(2), pp. 241-249. (doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agt001) (PMID:23345391)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

Aims: Large discrepancies are typically found between per capita alcohol consumption estimated via survey data compared with sales, excise or production figures. This may lead to significant inaccuracies when calculating levels of alcohol-attributable harms. Using British data, we demonstrate an approach to adjusting survey data to give more accurate estimates of per capita alcohol consumption. Methods: First, sales and survey data are adjusted to account for potential biases (e.g. self-pouring, under-sampled populations) using evidence from external data sources. Secondly, survey and sales data are aligned using different implementations of Rehm et al.'s method [in (2010) Statistical modeling of volume of alcohol exposure for epidemiological studies of population health: the US example. Pop Health Metrics8, 1–12]. Thirdly, the impact of our approaches is tested by using our revised survey dataset to calculate alcohol-attributable fractions (AAFs) for oral and pharyngeal cancers. Results: British sales data under-estimate per capita consumption by 8%, primarily due to illicit alcohol. Adjustments to survey data increase per capita consumption estimates by 35%, primarily due to under-sampling of dependent drinkers and under-estimation of home-poured spirits volumes. Before aligning sales and survey data, the revised survey estimate remains 22% lower than the revised sales estimate. Revised AAFs for oral and pharyngeal cancers are substantially larger with our preferred method for aligning data sources, yielding increases in an AAF from the original survey dataset of 0.47–0.60 (males) and 0.28–0.35 (females). Conclusion: It is possible to use external data sources to adjust survey data to reduce the under-estimation of alcohol consumption and then account for residual under-estimation using a statistical calibration technique. These revisions lead to markedly higher estimated levels of alcohol-attributable harm.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by the Medical Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council (grant G000043).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Meier, Professor Petra
Authors: Meier, P. S., Meng, Y., Holmes, J., Baumberg, B., Purshouse, R., Hill-McManus, D., and Brennan, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Alcohol and Alcoholism
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0735-0414
ISSN (Online):1464-3502
Published Online:22 January 2013

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record