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Association of the Availability of Beer, Wine, and Liquor Outlets with Beverage-Specific Alcohol Consumption: A Cohort Study




Little evidence exists on whether beverage-specific alcohol availability is associated with beverage-specific consumption. We longitudinally examined whether the number and change in number of beer, wine, and liquor outlets near one's home are associated with alcohol consumption by beverage type.


The study population consisted of 28,074 women and 6,639 men of the Finnish Public Sector Study who reported their alcohol use at baseline (in 2004/2005) and follow-up (in 2008/2009). The coordinates of their residence and alcohol outlets during the study period were obtained from national registers. Associations of the number and change in the number of beer, wine, and liquor outlets with beer, wine, and liquor consumption were analyzed using 2-level cumulative logistic regression adjusted for individual- and area-level characteristics.


Having ≥3 wine outlets within 0.5 km of home was associated with a higher likelihood of wine consumption compared with having no outlets within 0.5 km: the cumulative odds ratios (CORs) 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10 to 1.31) in women and 1.29 (95% CI 1.08 to 1.56) in men. For an increase in the number of wine outlets, the COR for wine consumption was 1.16 (95% CI 1.08 to 1.25) among all women and 1.10 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.21) among those who did not move between surveys. No corresponding beverage-specific outlet-consumption associations were observed for beer and liquor.


A high number of wine outlets near home may increase wine consumption among men and women. In addition, an increase in the number of wine outlets may add to its consumption among women, independent of the individuals' choice to move to areas of better availability.