Russian Vodka Kills

Lowers male life expectancy

Jan 31, 2014
Outside Magazine

Thanks to vodka, Russian men have the lowest life expectancy in the world.    Getty Images/iStockphoto

New research explains why Russian men have the lowest life expectancy in the world. As a result of heavy vodka drinking, Russian males are only expected to reach an age of 64, compared to 76 for U.S. males.  

The ten-year study by Russian and British researchers examined the lifestyle habits of more than 57,000 men, and revealed that those who enjoyed more than three bottles of vodka per week had a 35 percent chance of dying during the next 20 years. Those who enjoyed only one bottle fared better, with a 16 percent chance. Men who both smoked and drank had an even higher mortality rate, reports NBC News.

The findings don’t stop at the obvious. Russian men haven’t always imbibed to the point of self-extinction. Researchers discovered that trends in death rates have ebbed and flowed with the leadership of the country during the past 30 years. The connection lies in alcohol restrictions that varied between presidents from Gorbachev to Putin, which invariably impacted vodka intake. 

Although statistics are slowly improving, researchers conclude that heavy drinking and male mortality before age 55 “are still substantial” in Russia.