From the European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, England (Dr Leon); and the Center of Demography and Human Ecology, Institute for Economic Forecasting, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Dr Shkolnikov).
The public health situation in Russia today is grave. Information on
morbidity is fragmentary; however, an enormous burden of ill health must underlie
the very high mortality rates reported for the 1990s. For instance, in 1994,
a Russian man aged 20 years would have only a 1 in 2 chance of surviving to
age 60 years, compared with a 9 in 10 chance for men born in the United States
or Britain. Moreover, in 1994, life expectancy at birth for men was 13 years
less than for women. These trends almost certainly are not a statistical artifact.1 Yet, despite its magnitude, this public health crisis
has not received the attention it deserves from medical and public health
specialists around the world. The article by Notzon and colleagues2 in this issue of JAMA helps to redress this situation
by outlining the dimensions of the crisis and reviewing the findings and conclusions
of other research groups.1,3-6
Leon DA, Shkolnikov VM. Social Stress and the Russian Mortality Crisis. JAMA. 1998;279(10):790–791. doi:10.1001/jama.279.10.790
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