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Main arrow Archive of previous Issues arrow 6 2017 (58) arrow JANUARY DEATHS IN RUSSIA, 2004-2016
Monday, 25 December 2017

DOI: 10.21045/2071-5021-2017-58-6-2

V. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow

Contacts: Nemtsov Alexandr, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Information about author: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1150-5146
Conflict of interests. The author declares no conflict of interest.
Acknowledgments. The study had no sponsorship.


Purpose of the study: to estimate whether and how the total number of deaths in January exceeds the number of deaths in the remaining months of the year.

Objectives of the study: to analyze distribution of the total number of deaths, as well as deaths from alcohol poisoning, pneumonia, respiratory infections and influenza by months in 2004-2016 with a focus on January.

Material and methods. The subject of the study was the total number of deaths in Russia (a total of 26993487) according to the Rosstat operational data from January 2004 to December 2016 (n = 156 months). Over the period under study there was a regredient decrease in the number of deaths that can be satisfactorily described by a cubic polynomial. Therefore, data were converted into a linear format. Then, a linear function for January and other months was identified. Constant member of those functions served as an estimation of deaths in January and other months in 2004-2016. Deaths caused by alcohol poisoning served as an indirect indicator of actual alcohol consumption (according to the Rosstat operative data). As the morbidity and mortality from colds and infectious diseases increase in winter, the Rosstat operative data on deaths from pneumonia, respiratory infections and influenza were used, as well as data on deaths from influenza of the Institute of Influenza. Data on the average air temperature in the country were received from the Rosstat website.

Results. The constant term of the linear regression for January and other months equals to 185460 and 167370 deaths per year respectively with the difference of 18090 deaths. This is the average excess of January over the remaining months in 2004-2016. It adds up to 10.8% of the total number of deaths in January. The excess of January over the remaining months ranges from 12000 to 21000 deaths.

The number of deaths from pneumonia in males and acute respiratory viral infection in males and females correlates with alcohol consumption. This means that these deaths are closely related to the use of alcohol and partly included in the January "excess".

Conclusion. Synchronicity of dynamics in the total number of deaths and deaths from alcohol poisoning with a maximum in January indicates that the excess in the January deaths is associated with alcohol abuse. The additional loss of 18000 lives as a result of the annual holidays in January should become a public health concern and requires administrative, and possibly political interference to reduce this loss, especially against the background of the impending depopulation.

Keywords: deaths in January; New Year and Christmas holidays; alcohol poisoning; pneumonia and acute respiratory viral infections.


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