Men in Bangladesh live longer than in Russia. This is the situation revealed by Goskomstat. The Russian statistics agency reported that, in average, Russian men live 58.6 years, compared with 73 years for women. This situation worsened compared to 1990 when a man could be expected to live until 63.4 years.
Russian men drink too much, smoke too much, live with too much stress and go to the doctor too rarely. The first cause of death among Russian men is heart disease. But death rates are also soaring for stroke, lung cancer, stomach cancer, tuberculosis and AIDS.
More than 60% of Russian men smoke regularly, and lung cancer is now the leading the cause of cancer death.
Alcohol is another unchecked danger. According to the Health Ministry, the average Russian man drinks a bottle of vodka every other day, which does not take into account the possible consumption of additional alcoholic beverages. In rural areas, ravage from alcohol is widespread and runs through entire families. Tens of thousand also die every year from the consumption of poisoning counterfeit alcohol.
Russia’s HIV/AIDS rate of infection is comparable to that of southern Africa. And many deaths from the disease are often under-reported and attributed to secondary infections such as tuberculosis. According to experts on Russian health and demography, HIV/AIDS alone is projected to kill 250,000 to 648,000 Russians a year by 2020.
Many doctors blame men's ill health partly on what they call "culture shock," the stress from the economic and social upheaval that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Factories closed, salaries went unpaid, food and medicines were scarce, as crippling inflation and currency crisis wiped out most people's savings.
Many complain that the government spends little on prevention and education. Russia has been unwilling to accept international help.
Goskomstat, the Russian National Security Council and the UN Population Division, estimate that the 144 million Russian population could drop by a third in the next 20 years.
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