The object of this study was to perform a comparative analysis of the aggregate relationship between alcohol and homicide in Russia and in the United States. The comparison was based on the magnitude of the alcohol effect, the alcohol attributable fraction (AAF), and the degree to which total consumption could account for trends in homicide.
We analyzed total and sex-specific homicide rates for the age groups 15-64 years, 15-34 years, and 35-64 years. The study period was 1959-1998 for Russia and 1950-2002 for the United States. For the United States, alcohol consumption was gauged by sales of alcohol; for Russia, estimated unrecorded consumption was included as well. The data were analyzed through autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) modeling.
The results show that, for Russia as well as for the United States, a 1-L increase in consumption was associated with an increase in homicides of about 10%, although the absolute effect was markedly larger in Russia because of differences in homicide rates. The AAF estimates suggested that 73% and 57% of the homicides would be attributable to alcohol in Russia and in the United States, respectively. Most of the temporal variation in the Russian homicide rate could be accounted for by the trend in drinking, whereas the U.S. trend in total alcohol consumption had a more limited ability to predict the trend in homicides.
We conclude that the role of alcohol in homicide seems to be larger in Russia than in the United States.
Cites: Drug Alcohol Depend. 2000 Feb 1;58(1-2):133-4210669064
Cites: Drug Alcohol Rev. 2012 May;31(3):257-6221426423