Russian men who drink large amounts of vodka run an “extraordinarily high” risk of early death, according to a new study based on research conducted over the course of a decade.
From 1999 to 2010, researchers tracked more than 150,000 adult men in three Russian cities. The researchers found the results alarming. Among the men who said that they drank three or more half-liter bottles of vodka per week, the risk of dying before age 55 was 35 percent. Overall, a quarter of Russian men die before age 55, while 7 percent of men in the United Kingdom and 1 percent of men in the United States die before that age.
“The rate of men dying prematurely in Russia is totally out of line with the rest of Europe,” Sir Richard Peto of Oxford University, the lead researcher in the study, told the AP. “There’s also a heavy drinking culture in Finland and Poland but they still have nothing like Russia’s risk of death.”
Peto said that there was evidence of a high toll from heavy drinking among Russian women, but that there is not enough data to draw broad conclusions.