Alcohol consumption is strongly associated with premature mortality. The current study aimed to determine the strength of association between national per capita alcohol consumption with homicide and suicide rates in Australia across the period 1979-2009.
Professor Christopher Doran (University of Newcastle)
1. Determine cross correlations between national per capita alcohol consumption with homicide and suicide rates over the period 1979-2009; and
2. Determine the cross correlations of consumption by beverage type with homicide and suicide rates.
Times series analyses of national homicide and suicide rates with annual per capita consumption of beer, wine and spirits.
Beer consumption was positively correlated with homicide rates (r=0.70), while wine (r=-0.74) and spirits (r=-0.86) consumption rates were negatively correlated. These patterns were also true of both genders, and remained significant after controlling for unemployment and divorce rates. The relationship of alcohol consumption to suicide was narrower than that observed for homicide. Beer consumption was not significantly related to suicide rates (r=-0.20), while wine (r=-0.60) and sprits (r=-0.47) were negatively correlated. The absence of a correlation between suicide rates and beer consumption was due to a low association with male suicide (r=-0.01), compared to the significant association with female rates (r=0.64).
NDARC Technical Report 324 (see 'Resources' below).
First Australian data on these associations.