Intended for healthcare professionals


Russian mortality trends for 1991-2001: analysis by cause and region

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 23 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:964


This paper about Russian mortality after 1991 is very interesting in
so many ways. Here we can medically conclude that the dramatically change
of the economic centralized communist profile into an open-market one left
Russian people in poverty. And Reagan and Thatcher, at these dramatic
times, cannot help with one penny the suffered people of “Rodnaya Rus”,
nor even a symbolic Marshall plan…

But these events are connected with others in the world: after the
fall of URSS, Cuba Island was cutter off from Russia benefits, and, in
modern times, was the first country to expose an epidemic status
of...peripheral neuropathy! After thousands of people with the classic
symptoms presented at the neurology teams, the ENMG studies confirmed the
clinical picture and the explanation was: famine.Complex B deficiency,
measured in laboratory. With some months of intense use of capsules of
vitamins, the patients returned to normal status. This was publicated by
Machado et al in Neurology some years ago.

Alcohol consumption, loss of perspectives in the future, the
criminalization of Russia in 90’ (the so called “mafias”),famine in
Cuba…What a difference between the end of WWII and the USA help to Europe
(not for URSS,of course) and this kind of savage vengeance. The
globalization, the Washington Consensuses come after the fall of Berlin
wall, and now a lot of people in Americas (even in USA), Europe, Asia,
etc. are paying the account for what? The derogate of communism?

This is social medicine and neurology in real life, and in our
times. And, as said Otto Friederich, a Harvard professor of History,
deceased just in the Reagan-Gorbagachov meetings, in the title of his most
famous book, is “The End of the World”.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 October 2003
Clinical Neurologist
Neurology and Headache Clinic,Rua Jose Janarelli,199/22,Sao Paulo,SP,Brazil,01124-010