Are there gender differences in the geography of alcohol-related mortality in Scotland? An ecological study

Emslie, C. and Mitchell, R. (2009) Are there gender differences in the geography of alcohol-related mortality in Scotland? An ecological study. BMC Public Health, 9(58), (doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-58)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-9-58

Abstract

<b>Background</b> There is growing concern about alcohol-related harm, particularly within Scotland which has some of the highest rates of alcohol-related death in western Europe. There are large gender differences in alcohol-related mortality rates in Scotland and in other countries, but the reasons for these differences are not clearly understood. In this paper, we aimed to address calls in the literature for further research on gender differences in the causes, contexts and consequences of alcohol-related harm. Our primary research question was whether the kind of social environment which tends to produce higher or lower rates of alcohol-related mortality is the same for both men and women across Scotland. <b>Methods</b> Cross-sectional, ecological design. A comparison was made between spatial variation in men's and women's age-standardised alcohol-related mortality rates in Scotland using maps, Moran's Index, linear regression and spatial analyses of residuals. Directly standardised mortality rates were derived from individual level records of death registration, 2000–2005 (n = 8685). <b>Results</b> As expected, men's alcohol-related mortality rate substantially exceeded women's and there was substantial spatial variation in these rates for both men and women within Scotland. However, there was little spatial variation in the relationship between men's and women's alcohol-mortality rates (r2 = 0.73); areas with relatively high rates of alcohol-related mortality for men tended also to have relatively high rates for women. In a small number of areas (8 out of 144) the relationship between men's and women's alcohol-related mortality rates was significantly different. <b>Conclusion</b> In as far as geographic location captures exposure to social and economic environment, our results suggest that the relationship between social and economic environment and alcohol-related harm is very similar for men and women. The existence of a small number of areas in which men's and women's alcohol-related mortality had an different relationship suggests that some places may have unusual drinking cultures. These might prove useful for further investigations into the factors which influence drinking behaviour in men and women.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Richard and Emslie, Dr Carol
Authors: Emslie, C., and Mitchell, R.
Subjects:R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Centre for Population and Health Sciences
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2009 BioMed Central

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