Chapter

The health consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union

David A. Leon and Gill Walt

in Poverty, Inequality, and Health

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780192631961
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723599 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192631961.003.0002
The health consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union

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This chapter argues that the impact of the collapse of the Soviet Union to the health of the people inhabiting its constituent countries can be characterized by elements of similarity and diversity. There is compelling evidence that alcohol has played a major role in fluctuations since the 1980s. The health impact of the political transition was worsened by the fact that mortality levels in Russia were already on the rise. Given the affordability and availability of alcohol as well as the prevailing culture of heavy drinking, the imposition of a huge social and economic shock had inevitable consequences. However, not all were affected to the same extent; those with strong social support appeared to be relatively protected.

Keywords: health inequalities; Soviet Union; public health; Russia; alcohol consumption; mortality

Chapter.  8222 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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