About 25% of men die before they reach age 55 in Russia. By comparison, only 1% of men in the United States and 7% of men in the United Kingdom die before age 55. Excessive alcohol drinking is thought to be a big reason why so many men die before age 55 in Russia. A study of the drinking habits of Russian men from 1999 through 2010 found that 35% of the men who had reported drinking more than 0.8 gallons (3 liters) of vodka per week died before age 55. Russia is the world’s leading consumer of vodka, with about 528 million gallons (2 billion liters) consumed in 2012 — or the equivalent of 3.7 gallons (14 liters) for every man, woman and child in the country.
More about Russia and alcohol:
- Alcohol was illegal in Russia from 1914 through 1925 and was donated to scientists, who used vodka in experiments that led to the development of a synthetic rubber.
- Peter the Great, the Russian Emperor of the early 1700s, created the first liquor licenses to prevent low-cost, home-brewed alcohol from reducing the country’s alcohol profits.
- One of the most common treatments for alcoholism in Russia is a form of hypnotism that attempts to make the patient dislike alcohol.