Reducing the number of bars, restaurants, liquor stores and other locations where alcohol is sold in a community may help reduce domestic violence, a new study suggests.
The findings come from research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which reviewed 16 previous studies that examined the link between alcohol sales in communities and rates of domestic violence.
The investigators evaluated many factors, including the number of hours and days alcohol was sold, alcohol pricing and taxes, and the number of locations where alcohol was sold.
Only the number of alcohol sales outlets was consistently associated with rates of domestic violence, HealthDay reports.
Most of the studies found a link between a greater number of locations where alcohol was sold and higher rates of domestic violence. The link held even when factors such as local poverty and unemployment rates were taken into account.
The study is published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
"The studies that we reviewed do not indicate that alcohol outlet density or the outlets themselves cause partner violence," lead researcher Dennis Reidy said in a news release. "However, our findings suggest that local regulation of alcohol outlet density may be able to reduce rates of intimate partner violence within a community."
Previous research has shown that alcohol is often a risk factor in incidents of partner violence, the researchers note.