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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 406: Mapping Patterns and Trends in the Spatial Availability of Alcohol Using Low-Level Geographic Data: A Case Study in England 2003–2013

12 Apr 2017

Much literature examines the relationship between the spatial availability of alcohol and alcohol-related harm. This study aims to address an important gap in this evidence by using detailed outlet data to examine recent temporal trends in the sociodemographic distribution of spatial availability for different types of alcohol outlet in England. Descriptive analysis of measures of alcohol outlet density and proximity using extremely high resolution market research data stratified by outlet type and quintiles of area-level deprivation from 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 was undertaken and hierarchical linear growth models fitted to explore the significance of socioeconomic differences. We find that overall availability of alcohol changed very little from 2003 to 2013 (density +1.6%), but this conceals conflicting trends by outlet type and area-level deprivation. Mean on-trade density has decreased substantially (−2.2 outlets within 1 km (Inter-Quartile Range (IQR) −3–0), although access to restaurants has increased (+1.0 outlets (IQR 0–1)), while off-trade access has risen substantially (+2.4 outlets (IQR 0–3)). Availability is highest in the most deprived areas (p < 0.0001) although these areas have also seen the greatest falls in on-trade outlet availability (p < 0.0001). This study underlines the importance of using detailed, low-level geographic data to understand patterns and trends in the spatial availability of alcohol. There are significant variations in these trends by outlet type and deprivation level which may have important implications for health inequalities and public health policy.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health