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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

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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