Sunday, July 31, 2022

Super-High Male Mortality Reflects Social Conditions More than Access to Medical Care, New Study Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 7 – Super-high mortality rates among working-age males now threaten Belarusian society and its economy and make the achievement of improvements in life expectancy far more difficult than would otherwise be the case, according to a detailed new study prepared by the Minsk Institute of Sociology.

            That study provides details on a problem Russia also suffers from but increasingly fails to provide detailed data about ( as discussed at

            Prepared by Aleksey Boldyrev, the new study makes clear that super-high mortality among men is the product less of disease than of lifestyle choices and living conditions. It is twice as high in impoverished rural areas than it is in the cities where three-quarters of Belarusians now live.

            And the rate reflects extraordinarily high numbers of murders, suicides, alcohol consumption and accidental drownings. These account for one in every four deaths among this. Up to now, Boldyrev says, Minsk has focused on improving health care as a means of boosting life expectancy; but these figures show that doing that alone won’t be enough.

            His point is one that applies with even greater force in Russia. There, Putin’s healthcare optimization program has left working-age Russians and all others as well with less access to treatment, while his social and economic policies have contributed to an even more rapid spread of the conditions which are giving rise to super-high mortality in Belarus.    


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