News update: Russians not so healthy

A Sickness of the Soul, from the Economist.

Quotes:

At less than 59, male life expectancy has collapsed in a way otherwise found only in sub-Saharan Africa. It is around five years lower than it was 40 years ago, and 13 years lower than that of Russian women—one of the biggest gaps in the world. Male life expectancy in Irkutsk (not the country’s lowest) is just 53.

There is an obvious culprit: booze, especially the Russian taste for strong spirits, sometimes not fit for human consumption and often moonshine. Heart disease and violence, the two biggest factors in the mortality surge, are strongly alcohol-related. Alcohol poisoning itself killed 36,000 Russians last year; in America, it kills a few hundred.