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Study: Russian Men Dying Early From Heavy Vodka Use

FILE - A customer takes a bottle of vodka from a shelf at a Russian supermarket in Benidorm.
Researchers found Russian men who drink large amounts of vodka have an "extraordinarily" high risk of early death.

A study published Thursday in The Lancet medical journal details the findings of scientists who tracked about 151,000 adults between the years of 1999 and 2010. Of the 8,000 people in the study who died during that time, many were found to be heavy drinkers of vodka.

The researchers said they found excess vodka use among those dying of external causes, such as accident, suicide and violence. They say risk of death before age 55 among those who drank three or more half-liter bottles of vodka a week was 35 percent.

Experts say the overall average life expectancy for a Russian man is 64 years, which puts it among the nations with the lowest life expectancies in the world.