Mortality from external causes in Russia over half a century
The article discusses long-term mortality trends (since 1956) from external causes of death in Russia. Russia has long lagged behind developed countries in this domain. The level of mortality from external causes of death remains high and its structure is still archaic with large contribution of homicides, alcohol poisoning and injuries of undetermined intent.
Excess number of deaths from life tables of Russia and Western European countries is compared. It is shown that in Russia the greatest excess losses are associated with mortality from poisonings among both sexes, suicide among men and homicide among women.
Mortality from external causes, along with mortality from diseases of the circulatory system, has had a significant impact on life expectancy. In general, over the period 1956-2012 the increase in mortality from external causes in the 15-64 age group reduced life expectancy by 2.6 years for males and 0.7 years for females.
The decline, starting in 2003, of mortality from external causes of death has slightly reduced the gap between Russia and developed countries, bringing the current Russian level closer to those levels reached in Russia in the mid-1960s and 1980s. However, given the fluctuations of mortality from external causes, it is premature to say whether the current decline in mortality is robust.