"Cardiovascular diseases are the most frequent cause of death in Russia. The mortality rate is high compared to Western European countries, which have been experiencing a decrease in mortality rates for the past 20 years," Rafael Oganov said.
"Lifestyle is the main factor that accounts for the mortality rate", he said, adding that there is no clear relation between mortality and economic status.
About 16 million Russian suffer from cardiovascular diseases, placing Russia second in the world, after Ukraine, in this respect.
Heart diseases account for 56.7% of total deaths, with about 30% involving people still of working age. Mortality among Russian men rose by 60% since 1991, four to five times higher than in Europe.
Average life expectancy for men in Russia is about 57.