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Poverty, Inequality, and HealthAn International Perspective$
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David Leon and Gill Walt

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780192631961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192631961.001.0001

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The health consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union

The health consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union

(p.17) 2 The health consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union
Poverty, Inequality, and Health

David A. Leon

Gill Walt

Oxford University Press

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

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