Neighbourhood alcohol availability and gonorrhea rates: impact of social capital

  • Katherine P. Theall | kthea1@lsuhsc.edu Louisiana State University, School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA, United States.
  • Richard Scribner Louisiana State University, School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA, United States.
  • Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, United States.
  • Deborah Cohen RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, United States.
  • Karen Mason Louisiana State University, School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA, United States.
  • Neal Simonsen Louisiana State University, School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA, United States.

Abstract

Social capital and income inequality have been proposed as important mediators of the relation between the material environment and health outcomes. We determined whether indicators of social capital are (i) associated with neighbourhood gonorrhea rates, and (ii) mediate the relation between alcohol outlet density and gonorrhea rate. Longitudinal analyses of age- and sex-adjusted gonorrhea cases reported from 1990 to 1996 in the 445 census tracts affected by the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, California was conducted. The role of alcohol outlets was assessed both as tracts with surrendered off-sale outlets due to the civil unrest and annual off-sale alcohol outlet density rates. Tract level voting rates were used as one indicator of social capital, while neighbourhood structure conducive to social organization was used as another. Neighbourhoods with greater voting over time and greater endogenous social organization experienced 1.9 and 67.2 fewer gonorrhea cases per 100,000. Results also reveal a partial mediating role of social capital on the relationship between alcohol outlet density and gonorrhea rate. The alcohol environment may have a direct or partially mediated role in infectious disease outcomes such as gonorrhea. Our findings support the importance of continuing controls and limits on off-premise alcohol outlet density, as a potential means of reducing gonorrhea rates and increasing social capital.

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Published
2009-05-01
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Original Articles
Keywords:
gonorrhea, alcohol outlets, social capital, neighbourhood, deprivation, California.
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How to Cite
Theall, K. P., Scribner, R., Ghosh-Dastidar, B., Cohen, D., Mason, K., & Simonsen, N. (2009). Neighbourhood alcohol availability and gonorrhea rates: impact of social capital. Geospatial Health, 3(2), 241-255. https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2009.224

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