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Alcohol Binges to Blame for Premature Deaths in Russia

Published: February 1, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • Throughout this time, 8,000 participants died from alcohol-related diseases.
    Photo: Vedomosti

Alcohol is the primary cause of the high number of premature deaths in Russia, research published Friday has shown.

The report, which appeared in the British journal The Lancet, shows that 25 percent of Russian men die before the age of 55, with the majority of these deaths attributed to alcohol — particularly vodka.

Some Russian men said that they drank up to one-and-a-half liters of vodka every week, the report said.

However researchers say the driving force behind the high death rate is not the amount consumed, but in the way Russians drink alcohol.

Related: Forget Vodka and Chemistry, Thank Mendeleev for Economics

"They binge drink. That's the main problem. It's the pattern of drinking not the per-capita amount they are drinking," said Professor David Zaridze of the Russian Cancer Research Center, BBC reported.

"Russians have always drunk a lot. They sometimes say it's because of the cold weather, but this is just an excuse. This is the nation's lifestyle that needs to change." Zaridze said.

The average life expectancy in Russia is 69 years, which falls just below the average world average of 70 years, according to a 2011 report published by the World Health Organization.

Related: Putinka Vodka Sponsors U.S. Women's Bobsled Team

During the course of the 10-year study, more than 150,000 adults living in three Russian cities were monitored by researchers from the Russian Cancer Center, Oxford University, and the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Throughout this time, 8,000 participants died from alcohol-related diseases including liver disease and alcohol poisoning. Many of the participants also died in accidents or after getting into fights.

The report also showed that smoking aggravated the negative health effects of alcohol, and that mortality rates were lower among women.

In 2006, Russia bought in stricter controls in a bid to tackle out-of-control drinking, with alcohol consumption having since fallen by a third, researchers said. The number of men dying before they reach their 55th birthday has also fallen, from 37 percent to 25 percent.

The release of the report coincided with the anniversary of Dmitry Mendeleev's doctoral paper "On Combining Alcohol and Water" in which he set the ideal proof for vodka at 40 percent.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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