Clinical Edge

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Density of Alcohol Outlets and Alcohol Use Examined

Addiction, ePub 2018 Dec 18; Slutske, Deutsch, et al

Individuals who are genetically predisposed to develop alcohol problems may be especially sensitive to the influence of many alcohol outlets in their community, a recent study found. Researchers conducted a retrospective cross‐sectional twin study that included 18‐26‐year‐old twin, full‐, and half‐sibling pairs from Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Participants completed in‐home interviews in which past year alcohol problems were assessed. Alcohol outlet densities were extracted from state‐level liquor license databases aggregated at the census tract level. They found:

  • There was evidence that estimates of genetic and environmental influences on alcohol problems varied as a function of the density of alcohol outlets in the community.
  • The heritability of alcohol problems for those residing in a neighborhood with ≥10 on‐premises outlets was 78%, compared with 11% for those in a neighborhood with no on‐premises outlets.
  • This moderating effect of alcohol outlet density was not explained by state of residence, population density, or neighborhood sociodemographic characteristics.


Slutske WS, Deutsch AR, Piasecki TM. Neighborhood density of alcohol outlets moderates genetic and environmental influences on alcohol problems. [Published online ahead of print December 18, 2018]. Addiction. doi:10.1111/add.14534.