Long life: Russia lagged behind the West for 50 years


Долгая жизнь: Россия отстала от Запада на 50 лет

“Variation in life expectancy in the country has reached incredible figures: from 64 to 80 years,” said Friday the Chairman of the Russian government Olga Golodets at the meeting of the Collegium of the Ministry of health.

According to her, the average life expectancy in Russia now stands at 72.7 per year. While there are regions overcome the threshold of 80 years (including Ingushetia, close to the figure approached Moscow), 10 regions were able to overcome the threshold of 75 years. However, more than 20 regions of the Russian Federation was below the value of 70 years.

As stated by Deputy Prime entities that are behind in life expectancy, ready to assist. Emphasis will be placed on the accessibility of health care.

Recall that in the President’s instructions following the results of March address to the Federal Assembly stated that one of the national objectives should be to increase life expectancy to 78 years by 2024 and to 80 years by 2030.

Task to correct, but can we trust the figures that give voice to members of the government? In this case, Golodets?

— Demographers doubt the highest life expectancy in Ingushetia and in North Caucasus republics, says Anatoly Vishnevsky, Director of the Institute of demography of the HSE. — We consider this question incorrectly recorded, or there are too high, the population on which the calculation is performed. In the neighboring Russian regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol territories, such indicators are not present.

Excluding Ingushetia, of course, a better position in Moscow and partly in St. Petersburg — what is clear: there is a different standard of living and better health care system. It is necessary to take into account the climatic differences in Russia — we are always on the East of the country and in Siberia, the death rate is higher, so it was in Soviet times. This is the effect of climate and living conditions of supply. Need additional efforts and investments to bring the life expectancy there to the European side.

“SP”: — Economic indicators in different regions of Russia is also very different. It probably also has an impact on life expectancy?

The variation by region is everywhere — in Germany and in the United States, but we have a scatter much stronger. This reflects weaker development of infrastructure, including medical. At great distances the villages are often cut off from the centres in terms of medical care. It is a question of financing in the first place. We have, firstly, little is spent on health care compared to other countries. Secondly, and this money is unevenly distributed. The largest city in the European part of the retard means on themselves.

“SP”: — And between the life expectancy in Russia and Europe — a big difference?

— Russia is lagging behind. Moscow is somewhere at the level of Estonia, which is also not the best, but all other Russian regions is even lower. From France and Scandinavia, the gap is very large. This gap originated in Soviet times but was never overcome. Was a clear failure in the 1990-ies, but now we only overcame the Soviet level of 1980-ies, and it was very low. During this time, the West has moved far ahead. Even with the positive trends that have, since 2004, we to developed countries is still very far away.

That on life expectancy is influenced by a variety of factors, said Irina Denisova, senior economist at CEFIR, Professor of the Russian economic school:

— Of course, the value is the level of development of the health system, but this factor is not the only one. Greatly influenced and “risk behavior”, the prevalence of Smoking and excess alcohol, which, studies show demographics explain 40% of premature mortality in Russian men of working age. They are the major contributors to premature mortality. These factors are unevenly distributed across regions.

Another group of causes deaths from external causes. This includes homicides, suicides, mortality due to accidents and accidents on the roads. The level of economic development, of course, impact on infrastructure, and security, including on the roads. In Europe between lanes everywhere dividing barriers, to avoid collision “a forehead in a forehead”, and the roads themselves are in much better shape — they are also affected. The level of domestic homicides are also correlated with income levels. (Of course, affect levels of alcohol consumption and drug use). It is an important component, we have the deaths from these causes in every 5 above.

Another factor: the environmental conditions, which in different regions is also very different.

“SP”: — But also, perhaps, the availability of medical care is a priority?

— Of course — how much people have equal access to services of equal quality. For example, how fast in the event of acute cardiovascular diseases can get help — we do it very depends on the region, the city is a settlement or the countryside. In many localities the list of services is very limited. And “er” often does not have time to drive to patients.

Demographers talk about a “missed cardiovascular revolution”, because in the West at the time drew attention to cardiovascular disease and significantly reduced their prevalence. Are we lagging behind from the developed countries for 50 years.

There is a very important indicator of how “healthy life expectancy”. It is known that Russian women live much longer than Russian men, but they live the last years not with the best condition.

“SP”: — the life expectancy will rise with increasing health care costs?

— The cost of health care in Russia are defined as a share of GDP, and the President promised to increase it. But even with its increase in half, it’ll be twice as different from developed countries. We spend very little on health care, resources that reside in this system are insufficient.

The country with the highest life expectancy (according to who for 2015):

First place in the ranking is Japan increased to 83.6 years in the country, the largest number of centenarians in the world: on 100 thousand people has 35 people aged more than 100 years.

Slightly behind Switzerland — residents of the Republic live on average of 83.1 years. On their quality of life is affected by clean air, quiet atmosphere and excellent healthcare system.

In third place is Singapore with a life expectancy of 83 years. Residents of the island nation protected from the damaging influence of cars — their number in the country is strictly regulated. Also the country has created a health care system aimed primarily at prevention.

In Australia, despite the hot climate, the average life expectancy is 82.8 years. The same figure for Spain, where the people adhere to the Mediterranean diet. Different Spaniards and mental health — also has the lowest number of suicides in the world.

The inhabitants of Iceland live an average of 82,7 years. Experts say that it affects the high content of fish in the diet and a unique temperate climate. The same life expectancy in Italy.

Below — 82,4 years, life expectancy in Israel and in France, other than a good health care system.

A country with one of the most developed in the world of health systems is considered to be Canada, where citizens live an average of 82.2 years.


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