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Sex Transm Dis. 1998 Nov;25(10):544-8.

A geographic relation between alcohol availability and gonorrhea rates.

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1
Louisiana State University, School of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, New Orleans 70112, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

The availability of alcohol measured as alcohol outlet density is associated with numerous alcohol-related outcomes in small area analysis. A number of studies suggest that high-risk sexual behavior should also be considered an alcohol-related outcome.

GOAL OF THIS STUDY:

To assess the geographic relationship between alcohol availability and high-risk sexual behavior at the neighborhood level.

STUDY DESIGN:

Ecological analysis of the geographic relation between off-premise, on-premise, and total alcohol outlet density and reported gonorrhea rates among 155 urban residential census tracts in New Orleans during 1995.

RESULTS:

All alcohol outlet density variables were positively related to gonorrhea rates. Off-premise outlets per square mile was most strongly related to gonorrhea rates (beta +/- SE) (beta = 0.582+/-0.073), accounting for 29% of the variance in gonorrhea rates. Interpreted as an elasticity, a 10% increase in off-sale alcohol outlet density accounts for a 5.8% increase in gonorrhea rates. Including the covariates percent black and percent unemployed to the model reduced but did not remove the effect of off-sale outlet density (beta = 0.192+/-0.047).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate there is a geographic relationship between alcohol outlet density and gonorrhea rates at the census tract level. Although these results cannot be interpreted causally, they do justify a public health intervention as a next step in defining the relation between alcohol availability and high-risk sexual behavior.

PMID:
9858351
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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