To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Impacts of alcohol duty reductions on cardiovascular mortality among elderly Chinese: a 10-year time series analysis

In March 2007, the Hong Kong Government halved its heavy excise taxes on beer and wine, and 1 year later, it eliminated all duties on these beverages. This study examines the impact of such duty reductions on cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related mortality among the elderly in Hong Kong.
Box-Jenkins autoregressive integrated moving average intervention time series analyses were applied to monthly morality data from 2001 to 2010 to quantify the impacts of duty reduction and exemption on CVD death rates among those aged 65 years or older.
The alcohol duty reduction in March 2007 was associated with an estimated 13% increase (95% CI 2% to 24%) in CVD death rates among elderly men, after controlling for the other intervention, outlier, trends and seasonal variations. This was equivalent to an extra 11 CVD deaths per 100 000 elderly men each month. Much of the observed impacts on CVD death rates were found to have contributed only by that on ischaemic heart disease mortality (18% increase in rate for men (95% CI 4% to 34%); 15% increase for women (95% CI 0.4% to 31%)), not by mortality due to stroke or hypertension. The alcohol duty exemption on March 2008 was not found to have impacted the CVD death rates.
The increase in CVD death rates among the Chinese elderly after alcohol duty reduction suggest that the purported beneficial effect of moderate alcohol use may not apply to certain Chinese populations, adding fuel to the ongoing debate on the risks and benefits of moderate alcohol consumption on mortality.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail: