Author(s): Neufeld M, Rehm J
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Abstract AIMS: To elucidate the possible effects of Russian alcohol control policy on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related mortality for the period 2000-2010. METHODS: Narrative review including statistical analysis. Trends before and after 2006 are compared, 2006 being the date of implementation of the Russian government's long-term strategy to reduce alcohol-related harms. Mortality data were taken from the World Health Organization (WHO) database 'Health for All'. Data on recorded alcohol consumption were taken from the WHO, based on the Russian Statistical Service (Rosstat). For unrecorded consumption, the calculations of Alexandr Nemtsov were used. Russian public opinion surveys on drinking habits were utilized. Treatment data on alcohol dependence were obtained from the Moscow National Research Centre on Addictions. Information on alcohol policy was obtained from official reports. RESULTS: Marked fluctuations in all-cause and alcohol-associated mortality in the working-age population were observed during the reviewed period. A decrease in total consumption and mortality was noted since the end of 2005, when the Russian government initially adopted the regulation of alcohol production and sale. The consumption changes were driven by decreases in recorded and unrecorded spirit consumption, only partly compensated for by increases in beer and wine consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol is a strong contributor to premature deaths in Russia, with both the volume and the pattern of consumption being detrimental to health. The regulations introduced since 2006 seem to have positive effects on both drinking behavior and health outcomes. However, there is an urgent need for further alcohol-control strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm.
This article was published in Alcohol Alcohol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy