Russia has been known for many things over the years, and one connection that has stood out consistently is vodka. However, the consumption of the distilled spirit has had its peaks and valleys during various political regimes and regulations. A new long-term study that examined mortality rates in Russian men found a correlation involving vodka consumption.
Published in the British medical journal The Lancet, researchers followed more than 150,000 people in Russia for over ten years. What they found was that Russian men who drank three or more half-liter bottles of vodka per week had significant risk of dying before the age of 55, compared to those who drank less than one bottle per week. The study was jointly funded by the British Heart Foundation, Cancer REsearch UK, WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer and the UK Medical Research Council.
According to news reports, lead researcher Dr. David Zaridze of the Russian Cencer Research Center of Moscow said, “High mortality absolutely is caused by hazardous alcohol consumption.” Much of the alcohol was consumed in binge-drinking episodes and patterns, which may also contribute to the high death rate. Some deaths were from conditions such as alcohol poisoning or cancer. Others were due to accidents, violence and even suicide.
Heavy alcohol consumption, whether in binge episodes or long-term drinking, can not only have seriously damaging health effects, but can also cost lives in other ways.
If you have a loved one with an alcohol problem, contact us to speak with a counselor who can help.