Cirrhosis, Drinking and AA participation.

The authors tested the hypotheses that cirrhosis mortality rates are positively associated with per capita alcohol consumption and negatively associated with the 12-Step fellowship Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) membership rates, using data from the province of Ontario, Canada, for 1968 to 1989. Time-series analyses with auto-regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) modeling were applied to male and female cirrhosis mortality rates in three age groups: 15-44, 45-64 and e65 years. Missing AA membership data were interpolated using two methods: linear splines and cubic splines.

In general, cirrhosis mortality rates were positively associated with alcohol consumption and negatively associated with AA membership. These effects were not statistically significant for some age and gender combinations. Limitations of this study include restrictions in the length of series available and in the ability to infer causality. Nevertheless, the findings are consistent with previous research demonstrating that per capita consumption is a strong determinant of cirrhosis mortality and that higher levels of AA membership can reduce cirrhosis mortality.

Research report; Robert E. Mann, Reginald G. Smart, Brian R. Rush, Rosely Flam Zalcman, and Helen Suurvali. Cirrhosis mortality in Ontario: Effects of alcohol consumption and Alcoholics Anonymous participation. Addiction 100(11):1669-1679, November 2005.