Most Russians Won’t Make It to Their 71st Birthday, OECD Report Shows

(Moscow Times – – November 5, 2015)

High alcohol and tobacco consumption mean most Russians will never reach the age of 71, with the average life expectancy in Russia lagging almost 10 years behind the average in developed countries – the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report published Wednesday.

The average life expectancy in Russia in 2013 was 70.7 years – with only India and South Africa having lower life expectancies, with 66.5 years and 56.8 years respectively, the study showed.

Life expectancy in Russia had increased by 2.7 years since 1970, compared to an increase of 10 years in OECD countries where life expectancy in 2013 was 80.5 years on average, the study showed.

The survey ranked Russia 43rd on a list of 45 countries – consisting of 34 OECD member countries and a number of other “partner countries,” including Russia, Brazil and China.

The OECD attributed Russia’s slow increase in life expectancy to “the impact of the economic transition in the 1990s and a rise in risk-increasing behaviors among men,” a reference to the country’s alcohol consumption.

Russia was among the countries with the highest percentage of male tobacco consumption, with roughly 45 percent of the male adult population smokers – roughly 20 percent above the OECD average. Russian women, in contrast, smoked less than the OECD average, according to the report.

Overall tobacco consumption in Russia has been falling, the report showed, with tobacco consumption dropping from 35 percent of the total population in 2000, to 24 percent in 2013.

In an opposing trend, Russia was among a handful of countries to have experienced a rise in alcohol consumption since 2000, the report said. Data showed 10 percent of the adult population consumed alcohol in 2000, compared to 11 percent in 2013.

[featured image is file photo]

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