The purpose of this study is to examine the trends within liver cirrhosis mortality and its relationship to alcohol and tobacco consumption. Pulling data from several countries aids this study in an effort to improve forecasting accuracy for alcohol consumption and future mortality rates for liver cirrhosis.
Methods and Discussion:
For this paper, trends were calculated using Joinpoint regression analysis. This type of regression analysis provides the beginning and end results for a single trend. The data provided throughout the study was run through this regression analysis for the purposes of discovering increasing or decreasing trends in liver cirrhosis. Within this study, trend analysis revealed a couple key results. First, the decrease starting in 1969 among females and in 1977 among males concerning liver cirrhosis mortality, is related to decreases in alcohol consumption starting in those same years. Lastly, the same results were related to decreased in tobacco consumption starting in 1972. Figure 1 below illustrates that since the 1970’s there has been a decrease in liver cirrhosis mortality while at the same time alcohol and tobacco sales and alcohol treatment has also been on the decline.
Authors John Ulrich and Monika Hanke state that this approach offers less bias compared to studies using national survey data. However, this study also displayed many assumptions about what may and may not be the cause for decreased trends in liver cirrhosis. The authors did not go into detail about what actually accounted for the decreasing trend, rather it appeared that they gave their best educated guess as a result of the analysis.