GENEVA—Warning that the trend represents a major national health issue, a study released Monday by the World Health Organization confirmed that suspicious circumstances remain the leading cause of death in Russia. “Our analysis has found that mysterious circumstances represent the number one overall killer of Russians, affecting men as young as 20 and as old as 80,” said study co-author Dr. Simon Gerber, adding that the findings linked several behavioral factors—most notably working in high-ranking positions within the fields of journalism, national government, or the petroleum industry—to an increased risk of someday succumbing to the deadly epidemic. “Although dubious and largely improbable coincidences have long been a leading cause of death across all regions of Russia, as well as among Russian-born citizens living abroad, we have seen a significant spike over the past 15 years, particularly within recent months. And the trend only shows signs of accelerating, which is incredibly worrying.” Gerber went on to say that if not properly addressed, the issue could soon become a global health crisis, given similarly high mortality rates attributed to suspicious circumstances in China, Iran, and North Korea.

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