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Alcoholism and the Russian mortality crisis


Denisova, Irina & Kartseva, Marina (2012). Alcoholism and the Russian mortality crisis. Public Health–Methodology, Environmental and Systems Issues, 367.


Life expectancy is the key aggregated indicator of a country’s well-being along with gross domestic product and living standards. While Russia approaches the group of developed countries in terms of per capita GDP, it is strikingly different in terms of the living standards and the dynamics of life expectancy. Thus, life expectancy among males in Russia has not only not increased since the 1970s, but has dropped to barely above 60 years (Fig. 1). The low living standards and lack of improvement in life expectancy dynamics in Russia are in contrast with the experience of the majority of developed countries and countries with transitional economies. Thus, male life expectancy at birth in Finland has increased from 66 years in 1970 to 76 years in 2007, in Norway from 71 to 77 years and in Sweden from 72 to 78 years during the same period. In the Czech Republic male life expectancy has increased from 66 to 68 years. Female life expectancy in these countries reveals comparable dynamics. Russia has still to go into an upward trend (both for men and for women characteristic of all the developed and the majority of the developing countries.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Public Health–Methodology, Environmental and Systems Issues


Denisova, Irina
Kartseva, Marina