Nearly 400,000 Russians die each year due to heart disease, but a study by a recent UC Irvine graduate found that about 5 percent of such deaths could be avoided by the year 2025 if the country strengthens its environmental standards. “A poor environment can lead to a number of cardiovascular-related health problems, resulting in death at a younger age,” says Natalia Milovantseva, a Demographic and Social Analysis program graduate. “In Russia, if laws for air, water and environmental quality continue to go unenforced, the cost will be measured in lives lost.” A Russian native, Milovantseva received the 2008 Southern California Edison Award for Research on Energy and the Environment in recognition of her study. The $1,000 award will help fund her next research venture as she moves on to the UCI School of Social Ecology’s environmental analysis and design doctoral program in the fall.