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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Finds Strong Alcohol Policies Lower Deaths from Liver Damage

Stronger state restrictions on alcohol are associated with lower death rates from alcoholic cirrhosis, a new study co-authored by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers shows.

The new study, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, a publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined the relationship between alcohol policies and alcoholic cirrhosis mortality rates in the U.S. from 2002 to 2011.

The study found that cirrhosis mortality rates varied significantly across states, but were highest among males, residents of states in the Western region, and in states with a high proportion of American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN). More restrictive state alcohol policies were associated with lower mortality rates among females, but not among males. However, among non-AI/AN residents, stronger policies were linked with lower cirrhosis mortality rates for both genders combined.

“Our results are consistent with a potentially protective role for alcohol policies in reducing cirrhosis mortality,” the authors said. “Tax and price policies appear to be particularly effective for reducing adult binge drinking as well as alcoholic cirrhosis mortality rates, and are likely critical components of an effective alcohol policy environment.”

To read more about the study, go to: