MOSCOW, March 23 (UPI) -- Death rates have risen considerably in almost all of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States in recent years, a Russian study has found.
The study, by the Center for Demography and Human Ecology -- part of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Economic Forecasting -- found in 2003 Russians were dying at a rate 1.5 times higher -- 16.4 deaths per 1,000 people -- than in 1989. The rate in Belorussia increased by 1.4 times -- to 14.5 deaths per 1,000 people -- and Ukrainians experienced a death rate 1.3 times higher -- 16.0 deaths per 1,000 population.
Overall death rates in the Commonwealth of Independent States, which consists of 12 of the 15 states of the former Soviet Union, increased because of the population's aging, the study said.
The most common cause of C.I.S. deaths is cardiovascular disease. The rates of people dying from cancers, respiratory diseases and external causes, such as accidents, homicides and suicides, also were among the most common causes.