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Alcohol and suicide in Eastern Europe
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2008 (English)In: Drug and Alcohol Review, ISSN 0959-5236, E-ISSN 1465-3362, Vol. 27, no 4, 361-373 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: The aim of this paper was to estimate how suicide rates in seven eastern European countries are affected by changes in population drinking and to put the results into a comparative perspective. DESIGN AND METHODS: The analysis included data on annual suicide mortality rates and per capita consumption for the post-war period from: Russia, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the former Czechoslovakia and the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). Overall and gender-specific models were estimated using the Box-Jenkins technique for time-series analysis. The estimates were pooled into two groups, i.e. spirits countries (Russia, Belarus and Poland) and non-spirits countries (Hungary, Bulgaria, former Czechoslovakia and former GDR). RESULTS: All countries obtained positive alcohol effect estimates. The effects on the overall population were largest in the spirits countries, where a 1-litre increase in per capita consumption was associated with an increase in overall suicide rates of 5.7-7.5%. The effects were somewhat smaller in the non-spirits countries, 2.7-4.7%. The estimates for males were larger, but showed the same national variations as the overall population estimates. The female estimates were generally smaller than for men and did not differ between the two country groups. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that per capita consumption matters for suicide mortality in these eastern European countries, but that the strength of the relationship is contingent upon the drinking culture, so that it tends to be stronger in countries with detrimental drinking patterns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 27, no 4, 361-373 p.
Keyword [en]
Per capita alcohol consumption, suicide, time series analyses
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-18424DOI: 10.1080/09595230802093778ISI: 000257147500009OAI: diva2:184947
Available from: 2009-01-26 Created: 2009-01-26 Last updated: 2010-11-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Alcohol-Related Problems in Eastern Europe: A Comparative Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Alcohol-Related Problems in Eastern Europe: A Comparative Perspective
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the association between alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm in Eastern Europe. The main aim was to estimate to what extent changes in per capita alcohol consumption have an impact on different forms of alcohol-related mortality, and to put the results in an international comparative perspective. The thesis includes four papers; the first two papers use aggregate time-series analysis to assess how changes in per capita consumption affect rates in suicide mortality and fatal non-intentional injuries in several Eastern European countries, respectively. The third paper applies the same methodological approach to analyse the population-level relationship between alcohol and homicide in Russia and the U.S.. The fourth paper employs survey data to assess how the risk of experiencing alcohol-related problems in relation to volume of consumption in the Baltic countries compares to Sweden and Italy. The results of the first three papers suggests: (i) that changes in per capita consumption are significantly related to changes in mortality rates of suicide, non-intentional injuries and homicide in the countries under study; (ii) that the relationship is stronger for men than for women, and (iii) that the relationship tends to be stronger in the countries with more detrimental drinking patterns, e.g. Russia. The results of the fourth paper suggest that the risk of experiencing alcohol-related problems in relation to level of drinking in the Baltic countries is similar to the corresponding risk in Sweden, but considerably stronger than in Italy. In conclusion, the findings support the significance of a public health approach to alcohol-related problems in Eastern Europe, i.e., policy measures directed towards total alcohol consumption. In addition, strategies aimed at reducing the occurrence of binge drinking seem to have great potential for reducing alcohol-related harm and mortality in Eastern European countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2010. 46 p.
Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1650-819X ; 10
Eastern Europe, alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harm, time-series analysis
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44215 (URN)978-91-7447-177-9 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2010-12-10, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Alcohol in Eastern Europe - a Public Health Perspective

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2016-08-25Bibliographically approved

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