Beverage-Specific Mortality Relationships in United States Population Data

Nearly all countries regulate distilled spirits differently from beer andwine. However, the scientific basis for this differential treatment hasnot been clearly established. This review covers beverage-specificrelationships with alcohol-related mortality causes at the populationlevel in the United States and includes a new analysis of motorvehicle-accident mortality. Spirits were found to be more stronglyrelated to, or the only beverage type with a significant positiveassociation with, cirrhosis, IHD, and head and neck cancer mortality.Spirits sales, along with beer, were also implicated in motor-vehicleaccidentmortality and homicide. While all three beverage types werefound to be associated with suicide mortality, only spirits had asignificant unlagged association. These associations were found underpolicy arrangements where spirits were discouraged with relativelyhigher taxes, lower availability, and more restricted marketingopportunities. This suggests that the differential policy treatmentfound in the United States and most other countries is justified on thebasis of differential-harm relationships.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Kerr WC
  • Issue

    Contemp Drug Probl., pages 561-578 / volume 38
  • Published Date