Unhealthy lifestyles and regional differences in life expectancy in Russia
The study seeks to identify the impact of smoking, sports participation, and alcohol consumption on life expectancy of men and women in Russian regions.
We use official data for 2014–2020 for 77 Russian regions. We estimate factors related to life expectancy separately for men and women to account for differences in their life expectancy and lifestyles.
We run fixed-effect models to estimate regional life expectancy depending on smoking, alcohol consumption, sport participation, healthcare characteristics, and demographical and economic factors.
Life expectancy was negatively associated with alcohol consumption and smoking and positively with sport participation: a 1-L increase in alcohol consumption was attributed to a 1.6-month decrease in male life expectancy and to a 1.8-month decrease in female life expectancy. If the proportion of smoking women was halved, the increase in woman's life expectancy would be 4.6 months. If sports participation rates were doubled for men and women, the expected increase in their life expectancy would be 1 and 0.9 years, respectively. Other factors attributed to life expectancy were settlement type, income inequality, characteristics of regional healthcare systems, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
We find significant variation in life expectancy across Russian regions that can be partly explained by unhealthy lifestyles. We suggest that policies aimed at improving national health in diverse countries such as Russia adjust healthy lifestyle measures to the needs of particular region.