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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009 May;33(5):906-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.00912.x. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

Alcohol consumption, alcohol outlets, and the risk of being assaulted with a gun.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Firearm & Injury Center at Penn, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021, USA. cbranas@upenn.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We conducted a population-based case-control study to better delineate the relationship between individual alcohol consumption, alcohol outlets in the surrounding environment, and being assaulted with a gun.

METHODS:

An incidence density sampled case-control study was conducted in the entire city of Philadelphia from 2003 to 2006. We enrolled 677 cases that had been shot in an assault and 684 population-based controls. The relationships between 2 independent variables of interest, alcohol consumption and alcohol outlet availability, and the outcome of being assaulted with a gun were analyzed. Conditional logistic regression was used to adjust for numerous confounding variables.

RESULTS:

After adjustment, heavy drinkers were 2.67 times as likely to be shot in an assault when compared with nondrinkers (p < 0.10) while light drinkers were not at significantly greater risk of being shot in an assault when compared with nondrinkers. Regression-adjusted analyses also demonstrated that being in an area of high off-premise alcohol outlet availability significantly increased the risk of being shot in an assault by 2.00 times (p < 0.05). Being in an area of high on-premise alcohol outlet availability did not significantly change this risk. Heavy drinkers in areas of high off-premise alcohol outlet availability were 9.34 times (p < 0.05) as likely to be shot in an assault.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study finds that the gun assault risk to individuals who are near off-premise alcohol outlets is about the same as or statistically greater than the risk they incur from heavy drinking. The combination of heavy drinking and being near off-premise outlets resulted in greater risk than either factor alone. By comparison, light drinking and being near on-premise alcohol outlets were not associated with increased risks for gun assault. Cities should consider addressing alcohol-related factors, especially off-premise outlets, as highly modifiable and politically feasible approaches to reducing gun violence.

PMID:
19320627
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2831052
Free PMC Article

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