Suicides in Russia and Belarus: A Comparative Analysis of Trends

Razvodovsky YE

Published Date: 2015-11-21
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Background: The Slavic countries of the former Soviet Union (fSU) Russia and Belarus retain one of the highest suicide rates in the world, despite a gradual decline over the past decade.

Aim: The present study aims to analyze whether population drinking is able to explain the dramatic fluctuations in suicide mortality in Russia and Belarus from the late Soviet to post-Soviet period.

Method: Trends in suicide rates and alcohol sales per capita from 1970 to 2014 in Russia and Belarus were analyzed employing an ARIMA analysis.

Results: Alcohol sales is a statistically significant associated with suicide rates in both countries, implying that a 1-l increase in per capita alcohol sales is associated with an increase in the suicide rates of 5.0% in Russia and of 6.1% in Belarus.

Conclusion: This is the first comparative time-series analysis of alcohol sales and suicide rates in Russia and Belarus, which highlighted close temporal association between suicide rates and population drinking in both countries.

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