Researchers have recently discovered a link between premature death rates among adults, alcohol sales, and check cashing establishments in the neighborhood of residence. This link seems to be stronger for men and weaker for women so far. Toronto based Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael’s Hospital is where the research was conducted by Dr. Joel Ray and Dr. Flora Matheson. The study does not show a causative link, but instead studies adults between the ages of 20 and 59 years old to eliminate the variables involved with premature death among infants and senior citizens. 140 neighborhoods in the Toronto area were examined, and the researchers found that males who lived in areas with a high density of alcohol sales and check cashing establishments were 1.25 times more likely to suffer from premature death.
The neighborhoods with the highest rates of premature death also had the highest density of alcohol sales and check cashing establishments, These areas are often low income and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, and the premature deaths are usually preventable. Those who live in these less advantaged areas are usually not as healthy, both physically and mentally. Dr. Matheson explained that “One approach might be to offer money management services for people at risk of alcohol overuse, in whom addiction overwhelms all aspects of their lives.” Dr Ray also stated “Moreover, physicians, nurses, addiction counselors, and social workers who help people with alcohol problems might use an individual’s neighborhood as an indicator of their risk for health decline and even recommend relocation to an area with few check-cashing places and alcohol outlets. Residential relocation has been associated with a greater cessation of injection drug use.”