BACKGROUND: There are likely to be differences in alcohol consumption levels and patterns across local areas within a country, yet survey data is often collected at the national or sub-national/regional level and is not representative for small geographic areas.
METHODS: This paper presents a method for reweighting national survey data-the Health Survey for England-by combining survey and routine data to produce simulated locally representative survey data and provide statistics of alcohol consumption for each Local Authority in England.
RESULTS: We find a 2-fold difference in estimated mean alcohol consumption between the lightest and heaviest drinking Local Authorities, a 4.5-fold difference in abstention rates, and a 3.5-fold difference in harmful drinking. The method compares well to direct estimates from the data at regional level.
CONCLUSIONS: The results have important policy implications in itself, but the reweighted data can also be used to model local policy effects. This method can also be used for other public health small area estimation where locally representative data are not available.
- Small area estimation