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2014 Winter Olympics

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Drunken Russian men could pose a problem at Sochi Olympics

There is a high potential that intoxicated Russian men may be a problem at the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia based on the results of the longest and largest investigation of Russian alcohol consumption conducted by Dr. Paul Brennan from the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France and colleagues that was published in the journal Lancet on Jan. 31, 2014.

Russian Standard Vodka launches global marketing campaign on Nov. 11, 2013.
Samir Hussein/Getty Images for Russian Standard Vodka

The study followed 151,000 Russian men for ten years and examined these men’s consumption of alcohol. All of the participants began the study between the ages of 35 and 54 years of age. Thirty-five percent of the participants reported drinking three or more half-liter bottles of vodka a week.

The combination of high levels of alcohol consumption and smoking has led to a serious heath condition in Russia that causes 25 percent of the men in Russia to die before the age of 55.

Alcohol consumption has increased since the fall of communism in Russia almost 30 years ago.

While Russian authorities intend to have a huge police presence at the Sochi Olympic Games, the level of intoxication in some Russian men may pose a danger to visitors.

The research should neither be taken as an indictment nor criticism of Russian men or the Russian government. The researchers intend the study as a means of correcting a serious health situation in Russia.

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