Background: In the Western world, males die from suicide three to four times more often than females. The reasons behind the gender gap in suicide mortality are hotly debated in the scientific literature. Russia retains one of the highest gender gap in suicide rates in the world. Some researchers have reported a close link between alcohol and suicide in Russia both in present and the past.
Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine the aggregate-level relationship between the consumption of different alcoholic beverages and gender difference in suicide rates in Russia between 1970 and 2015.
Method: The ARIMA (autoregressive integrated moving average) modeling technique was used to evaluate the relationship between changes in the consumption of different types of alcoholic beverages and gender difference in suicide mortality across the study period.
Results: The results of ARIMA analysis indicate that vodka sales is closely linked with gender difference in suicide mortality in Russia: an additional liter of vodka sales per capita was estimated to increase in the difference between male and female suicide mortality rates by 10.3%.
Conclusions: This piece of evidence provides support for the hypothesis that high level of vodka consumption in conjunction with binge drinking pattern may be a major reason for the high gender difference in suicide rates and its dramatic fluctuations in Russia during the last few decades.