214914 Effects of Alcohol Tax and Price Policies on Morbidity and Mortality: A Systematic Review

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Alexander C. Wagenaar, PhD , College of Medicine, Dept of Health Outcomes and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Amy L. Tobler, MPH, PhD , College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Kelli A. Komro, PhD , Department of Epidemiology and Health Policy Research and Institute for Child Health Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Objectives: We conducted a systematic review of effects of alcohol taxes and prices on alcohol-related morbidity and mortality. Methods: Nine databases plus reference lists were searched for studies providing estimates of the relationship between alcohol taxes and prices and measures of risky behavior or morbidity and mortality. Effect sizes and numerous population and study characteristics were coded. Independent estimates were combined using random effects models to obtain aggregate effect estimates. Results: Fifty studies containing 340 estimates were identified. Meta-estimates were r = -0.347 for alcohol-related disease and injury outcomes, -0.022 for violence, -0.048 for suicide, -0.112 for traffic crash outcomes, -0.055 for STDs, -0.022 for other drug use, and -0.014 for crime and other misbehavior measures. All except suicide are statistically significant. Conclusions: Public policies that affect the price of alcoholic beverages have significant and substantial effects on alcohol-related disease and injury rates. Results suggest doubling the alcohol tax would be associated, on average, with a 35% reduction in alcohol-related mortality, 11% reduction in traffic crash deaths, 6% reduction in STDs, 2% reduction in violence, and a 1.4% reduction in crime.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe aggregate empirical results from three decades of studies of effects of alcohol tax policies on morbidity and mortality outcomes.

Keywords: Alcohol, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a scientist with over 160 peer reviewed published papers most in content areas overlapping with the focus of this report on our latest meta-analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.