In a new study published
in the medical journal, The Lancet, researchers identified alcohol,
specifically vodka, as the main cause of the high death rate of Russian men
That means one in four
Russian men are dying prematurely because they are consuming too much alcohol.
Mortality rates in 2005 for Russian men under 55 was 37 per cent. The
equivalent death rate of British men was about seven per cent and nine per cent
for Canadian men.
Over 150,000 people were
followed in this study which found much higher risks in death in men who drank
three or more bottles of vodka a week than in men who drank less than one
bottle a week.
In a commentary which
accompanied the study, Dr. Jurgen Rehm, Director of CAMH’s Social and
Epidemiological Research Department wrote, “It is the combination of high
overall volume with the specific pattern of episodic binges that is necessary
to explain the high level and fluctuating trends of total and
alcohol-attributed mortality in Russia.”
Dr. Rehm says Canada can also learn from the
findings of this study. “The Russians don’t drink that much more than
Canadians. This (study) is another warning that alcohol is dangerous and we
should not increase (consumption).”
Media coverage of the study can be viewed at: