According to the statement made on Tuesday, June 25 by Nikolai Samko, a deputy head of the Directorate of Medical Research Organisations, the number of Russia's citizens over 85 more than doubled over the past 2 decades.
When speaking at a staff meeting of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Samko said the proportion of aged, old, and very old citizens in Russia's population kept growing continuously. While since 1979 the total number of Russia's citizens increased by 5.9%, the number of those over 60 increased by 70%. This is especially true for rural areas where residents over retirement age account for 20.8% of the total number. 'The number of old citizens is growing very fast', Mr. Samko concluded. 'The speed of its growth is way ahead of the speed of the overall growth of our population', adding that this tendency was becoming obvious throughout the world.
According to the data released by the Ministry of Health, in the year 2000, the number of citizens over 60 was 26.9 million, that is, 18.5% of the total. Mr. Samko said most of these people were in need of medical and social assistance. Over 70% of Russia's aged suffer from 4 or 5 chronic diseases each. He said the most widespread maladies of the old were osteoporosis, cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, and Alzheimer's disease.