New Insights into the Catastrophic Level of Mortality in Russian Men
On December 8, 2010 the Russia and Eurasia Program hosted an event as part of the Russia Health Working Group entitled, “New Insights into the Catastrophic Level of Mortality in Russian Men.” The event featured Dr. Martin McKee, Co-Director of the European Center on Health and Societies in Transition, who gave an insightful presentation on his more recent research into the causes of premature male mortality. The meeting was chaired and moderated by Judyth Twigg, Director of the Eurasia Health Project at Russia & Eurasia Program.
Dr. Martin McKee analyzed alcohol consumption as a contributing factor to the catastrophic levels of male mortality in Russia, specifically linking the consumption of alcohol-containing fluids not intended to be consumed, what he terms surrogate fluids. For obvious reasons, these surrogate fluids which include colognes, anti-freeze, and medical products with industrial strength ethanol, have deleterious health effects. The factors driving consumption of these fluids, mostly in rural areas, have to do with the cost being much lower than recreational alcoholic products, since they are not taxed, and the alcohol content being double that of typical vodkas for sale. Dr. McKee drew a strong correlation between significant alcohol consumption and heart disease, providing more evidence as to why the number one killer in Russia is Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD).
Please listen to a podcast of the event and short interviews with Dr. Martin McKee and Judyth Twigg on our website.