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article imageRussian men killing themselves with vodka

By Robert Weller     Feb 1, 2014 in Health
Moscow - Heavy vodka drinking means shorter lifespans for Russian men. Lancet reports 25 percent of Russian men die before 55, compared with only 7 percent of British men and fewer than 1 percent in the U.S.
“It is not considered out of order to drink until you can’t function in Russia. It just seems to be part of being a guy in Russia that you are expected to drink heavy,” said David Leon, a professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The British publication, reported by the Russian news agency Ria Novosti, comes as the national drink celebrates its 149th anniversary.
The drink is prospering as never before even with countries like France producing high-class vodka such as Grey Goose or Sweden’s Absolut or Poland’s Belvedere.
Actually, vodka was created in Poland, whose history is intermingled with Russia, and the word "vodka" is a diminutive form of the Slavic word voda (water), according to Wikipedia.
In Russian literature and movies, as well as Hollywood narratives, agreements can only be sealed with vodka.
From time to time, the Russian government tries to slow consumption of vodka down, and it has had success.
Associated Press said the Lancet study was based on tracking 151,000 adult men in three Russian cities from 1999-2010. Women also are risk, but the data does not put them in as much danger.
And just as with cigarettes in the U.S., many people who stop smoking do not go back.
“People who drink spirits in hazardous ways greatly reduce their risk of premature death as soon as they stop,” said Professor David Zaridze from the Russian Cancer Research Center in Moscow.
“The rate of men dying prematurely in Russia is totally out of line with the rest of Europe. There’s also a heavy drinking culture in Finland and Poland, but they still have nothing like Russia’s risk of death,” said Professor Sir Richard Peto of the University of Oxford.
More about Vodka, Russia, Water, Poland, Life expectancy
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