Alcohol Policy Scores and Alcohol-Attributable Homicide Rates in 150 Countries

Pamela J. Trangenstein, Snigdha R. Peddireddy, Won K. Cook, Matthew E. Rossheim, Maristela G. Monteiro, David H. Jernigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: More comprehensive state-level alcohol policy environments are associated with lower alcohol-attributable homicide rates in the U.S., but few studies have explored this internationally. This study tests whether 3 national-level alcohol policy scores are associated with alcohol-attributable homicide rates. Methods: Data were from the 2016 WHO Global Survey on Alcohol and Health and the 2017 Global Burden of Disease Study (N=150 countries). In 2020, the authors calculated domain-specific alcohol policy scores for physical availability, marketing, and pricing policies. Higher scores represented more comprehensive/restrictive alcohol policy environments. Negative binomial regressions with Benjamini–Simes–Hochberg multiple testing correction measured the associations between policies and alcohol-attributable homicide rates. Authors stratified countries by World Bank income group to determine whether the associations differed among low- and middle-income countries. Results: A 10% increase in the alcohol policy score for pricing was associated with an 18% lower alcohol-attributable homicide rate among all the countries (incidence rate ratio=0.82, adjusted p-value or q<0.001) and with a 14% (incidence rate ratio=0.86, q=0.01) decrease among 107 low- and middle-income countries. More controls on days and times of retail sales (incidence rate ratio=0.96, q=0.01) and affordability of alcohol (incidence rate ratio=0.95, q=0.04) as well as adjusting excise taxes for inflation (incidence rate ratio=0.96, q<0.01) were associated with a 4%–5% lower alcohol-attributable homicide rate in the full sample. Conclusions: Countries with policies that reduce alcohol's affordability or days/hours of sales tend to have fewer alcohol-attributable homicides, regardless of their income level. Alcohol-attributable homicide rates are highest in low- and middle-income countries; policies that raise alcohol-relative prices may hold promise for curbing these harms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


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