Alcohol control policies and socioeconomic inequalities in hazardous alcohol consumption: a 22-year cross-sectional study in a Swiss urban population

OBJECTIVE: Harmful use of alcohol represents a large socioeconomic and disease burden and displays a socioeconomic status (SES) gradient. Several alcohol control laws were devised and implemented, but their equity impact remains undetermined.We ascertained if an SES gradient in hazardous alcohol consumption exists in Geneva (Switzerland) and assessed the equity impact of the alcohol control laws implemented during the last two decades.

DESIGN: Repeated cross-sectional survey study.

SETTING: We used data from non-abstinent participants, aged 35-74 years, from the population-based cross-sectional Bus Sante study (n=16 725), between 1993 and 2014.

METHODS: SES indicators included educational attainment (primary, secondary and tertiary) and occupational level (high, medium and low). We defined four survey periods according to the implemented alcohol control laws and hazardous alcohol consumption (outcome variable) as >30 g/day for men and >20 g/day for women.The Slope Index of Inequality (SII) and Relative Index of Inequality (RII) were used to quantify absolute and relative inequalities, respectively, and were compared between legislative periods.

RESULTS: Lower educated men had a higher frequency of hazardous alcohol consumption (RII=1.87 (1.57; 2.22) and SII=0.14 (0.11; 0.17)). Lower educated women had less hazardous consumption ((RII=0.76 (0.60; 0.97)and SII=-0.04 (-0.07;-0.01]). Over time, hazardous alcohol consumption decreased, except in lower educated men.Education-related inequalities were observed in men in all legislative periods and did not vary between them. Similar results were observed using the occupational level as SES indicator. In women, significant inverse SES gradients were observed using educational attainment but not for occupational level.

CONCLUSIONS: Population-wide alcohol control laws did not have a positive equity impact on hazardous alcohol consumption. Targeted interventions to disadvantaged groups may be needed to address the hazardous alcohol consumption inequality gap.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Sandoval, J. L.;Leao, T.;Theler, J. M.;Favrod-Coune, T.;Broers, B.;Gaspoz, J. M.;Marques-Vidal, P.;Guessous, I.

  • Issue: BMJ Open
  • Published Date: 2019
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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