Ukrainians now live a little longer and smoke a bit less, and that's the positive news about the nation's health so far. However, drinking, malnutrition, sedentary lifestyle, and low wages make Ukrainians one of the least healthy nations in Europe and even worldwide.

Ukraine ranks 97th out of 156 countries in the WHO health rating, falling behind not only the developed western nations but also all countries of the former Soviet Union: Belarus ranks 54th, Russia is 73rd, while Moldova is 75th. Health and medical care is worse only in some poor Arab countries, a number of African states, and Afghanistan, the Novoye Vremya weekly reports.

On average, Ukrainians live 10-12 years less than Europeans. The state of health of an average Ukrainian is deteriorating from year to year. Ukrainians suffer most from diseases of the circulatory system, respiratory organs, digestion, and urogenital system.

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Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Ivano-Frankivsk regions are seen as the unhealthies regions, where doctors record the highest incidence of said diseases. Cardiovascular diseases account for 68% of death causes  in Ukraine, and this is twice as much as in the EU countries.

The cause of the progressive ailment is low living standards, poor ecology, stress, and low quality food.

The causes of poor health of Ukrainians are in their plates, doctor Mykhailo Hryniov said.

"Scanty unbalanced nutrition, as well as bad drinking water, is the cause of many diseases. Ukrainians replace expensive meats and vegetables with cheap macaroni, cereals, and potatoes, as well as harmful fats, which leads to a breakdown in carbohydrate metabolism and overweight. And this is one of the main factors in the development of arterial hypertension, diabetes, and other diseases. The next step in this chain is heart attacks and strokes," he said.