Drinking to death

alcoholism in Russia is rising at an unparalleled rate. The average life expectancy for Russian men fell by 6.2 years and for women by 3.4 years between 1990 and 1994. A major reason for that was a high consumption of alcohol. According to David Leon of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and doctors from the Centre of Demography and Human Ecology in Moscow, binge drinking accounted for a substantial proportion of sudden deaths in Russian men and women under 50. Their findings have been reported in the August 9 issue of the British medical journal, Lancet .

"The magnitude and steepness of the fluctuations in mortality rates and life expectancy for Russians are without parallel in the modern era,' the report said.