Evaluating the relationship between binge drinking rates and a replicable measure of U.S. state alcohol policy environments.
ABSTRACT: Excessive alcohol consumption contributes significantly to premature mortality, injuries and morbidity, and a range of U.S. state policies have been shown to reduce these behaviors. Monitoring state alcohol policy environments is essential, but methodologically challenging given that new laws may be passed (or repealed) each year, resulting in considerable variation across states. Existing measures have not been made public or have only a single year available. We develop a new replicable measure, the state alcohol policy score, for each state and year 2004-2009, that captures the essential features of a state's evidence-based alcohol policies. We evaluate its similarity to two existing alcohol policy measures and validate it by replicating findings from a previous study that used one of those measures to assess its relationship with several binge drinking outcomes. Estimates of the association between one-year lagged state alcohol policy scores and state binge drinking outcomes, obtained from the 2005-2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys (n = 440,951, 2010), were produced using Generalized Linear Models that controlled for state and individual-level co-variates, with fixed effects for year and region. We find a 10-percentage point increase in the state alcohol policy score was associated with a 9% lower odds of binge drinking (aOR = 0.91, 95% CI 0.89, 0.92; N = 1,992,086), a result consistent for men, women and for most age and race subgroups. We find that gender gaps in binge drinking behaviors narrowed in states with higher state alcohol policy scores. These results were nearly identical to those found in other studies using different scores obtained with the aid of expert opinions. We conclude that the score developed here is a valid measure that can be readily updated for monitoring and evaluating the variation and impact of state alcohol policies and make available our state scores for the years of the study.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Of outcomes related to excessive drinking, binge drinking accounts for approximately half of alcohol-attributable deaths, two thirds of years of potential life lost, and three fourths of economic costs. The extent to which the alcohol policy environment accounts for differences in binge drinking in U.S. states is unknown.<h4>Purpose</h4>The goal of the study was to describe the development of an Alcohol Policy Scale (APS) designed to measure the aggregate state-level alcohol policy environment in the U.S. and assess the relationship of APS scores to state-level adult binge drinking prevalence in U.S. states.<h4>Methods</h4>Policy efficacy and implementation ratings were developed with assistance from a panel of policy experts. Data on 29 policies in 50 states and Washington DC from 2000-2010 were collected from multiple sources and analyzed between January 2012 and January 2013. Five methods of aggregating policy data to calculate APS scores were explored; all but one was weighted for relative policy efficacy and/or implementation. Adult (aged ?18 years) binge drinking prevalence data from 2001-2010 was obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys. APS scores from a particular state-year were used to predict binge drinking prevalence during the following year.<h4>Results</h4>All methods of calculating APS scores were significantly correlated (r >0.50), and all APS scores were significantly inversely associated with adult binge drinking prevalence. Introducing efficacy and implementation ratings optimized goodness of fit in statistical models (e.g., unadjusted beta=-3.90, p<0.0001, R(2)=0.31).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The composite measure(s) of the alcohol policy environment have internal and construct validity. Higher APS scores (representing stronger policy environments) were associated with less adult binge drinking and accounted for a substantial proportion of the state-level variation in binge drinking among U.S. states.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:A number of alcohol policies in the United States have been presumed to reduce underage youth drinking. This study characterized underage youth binge-drinking trajectories into early adulthood and tested associations with the strength of the alcohol policy environment, beer excise taxes and number of liquor stores. DESIGN:Longitudinal cohort study. SETTING:United States. PARTICIPANTS:A national cohort of 10th graders in 2010 (n = 2753), assessed annually from 2010 to 2015. MEASUREMENTS:Participants reported on their 30-day binge drinking [defined as consuming five or more+ (for boys) or four or more (for girls) drinks within 2 hours]. We scored the strength of 19 state-level policies at baseline and summarized them into an overall score and two subdomain scores. We also assessed state beer excise taxes (dollars/gallon) and linked the number of liquor stores in 1 km to the participants' geocoded address. FINDINGS:We identified five binge-drinking trajectories: low-risk (32.9%), escalating (26.1%), late-onset (13.8%), chronic (15.1%) and decreasing (12.0%). Lower overall alcohol policy strength was associated with increased risk of being in the escalating versus low-risk binge-drinking class [relative risk ratio (RRR) = 1.44 per 1 standard deviation (SD) in policy score; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.17, 1.77)]. Higher beer excise taxes were associated with a reduced risk of being in the escalating class (RRR = 0.22 per 1-dollar increase; 95% CI = 0.09, 0.50). The number of liquor stores was not significantly associated with any binge-drinking trajectory. CONCLUSIONS:In the United States, stronger state alcohol policies and higher beer excise taxes appear to be associated with lower risk of escalating alcohol consumption trajectories among underage youth.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Alcohol policy effects on alcohol's harms due to others' drinking (AHTO) and contextual factors that may mediate such policy effects have been understudied. This study examines state binge drinking prevalence as a mediator of the relationship between state alcohol policy and socioeconomic environments and individual-level AHTO.<h4>Methods</h4>A nationally representative sample of US