Weekly pattern of alcohol-attributable male mortality before and after imposing limits on hours of alcohol sale in Lithuania in 2018
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 1–6 (2023)
Aims: From 1 January 2018, the number of retail hours for the sale of alcohol was reduced from 14 to 5 hours on Sundays and from 14 to 10 hours on the other days of the week in Lithuania. The significant reduction of hours for the sale of alcohol on Sundays may have affected the distribution of alcohol-attributable deaths during the week. This study aimed to examine the change in the weekly pattern of alcohol-attributable male mortality before and after imposing limits on the hours when alcohol can be sold.
Methods: Age-standardised male death rates by days of the week were calculated for four groups according to cause of death: alcohol poisoning (X45), all external causes of death (V01–Y98), diseases of the circulatory system (I00–I99) and all other causes of death. We compared age-standardised death rates for two periods: before (2015–2017) and after (2018–2019) the intervention. Mortality and population data were obtained from the Lithuanian Institute of Hygiene and Human Mortality Database.
Results: We found that during 2018–2019, earlier observed peak in age-standardised death rates for external causes of death on Sunday diminished, and this day no longer differed from the weekly average. The same tendency was also observed for the Monday excess mortality due to circulatory diseases.
Conclusions: The reduction of the hours when alcohol can be sold from the beginning of 2018 was associated with a change in a weekly pattern of alcohol-attributable male mortality. However, more studies are needed to examine the causes of the change in mortality pattern.
Keywords: Lithuania, adult mortality, alcoholism, health policy