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PRC in the News

from the June 26, 2006 edition of Reuters

Bars make for rough neighborhoods

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Having a lot of bars around really does make for a rough neighborhood, researchers reported on Monday.

A six-year study of hospital admissions in California shows that the more bars there are in a neighborhood, the higher the rates of assault.

"We found that rates of violence increase in areas with growth in the numbers of bars and off-premise establishments that sell alcohol," Paul Gruenewald of the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, California, said in a statement.

"These relationships are independent of changes in other aspects of communities often related to violence, such as poverty or vacant housing."

Writing in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, Gruenewald and colleagues said they collected six years' worth of data from 581 zip-code areas in California, looking for information on household sizes, number of retail markets and other factors.

They also collected data on hospital admissions related to violent assaults.

Richard Scribner, professor of preventive medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, said city planners and officials should use the study's findings to inform their decisions on licensing bars and liquor stores.