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About Living Conditions, Lifestyle and Health

Objectives, expected benefits and overall approach of the project:

  • to study the relationship between living standards, lifestyle and health of the populations of 8 former Soviet countries: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Armenia and Georgia. These countries represent a large part of the former Soviet Union but also provide ethnic, cultural and religious variations
  • to investigate how tobacco and alcohol consumption, including their social and cultural context, is related to cardiovascular disease in these 8 countries
  • to investigate how socio-economic conditions including conditions of employment, unemployment, housing, income and social group are related to health outcomes
  • to investigate how social capital and social networks, including informal versus formal provision of care and the way in which health services are used by individuals, affects health outcomes
  • to investigate how psycho-social factors such as feelings of control over one's life can affect health outcomes
  • to investigate how culture and lifestyle, including ethnic and regional differences, can affect health outcomes
  • to investigate the impact of environmental factors such as employment, region and nuclear and other pollution
  • to produce new empirical knowledge going well beyond existing epidemiological data about life styles, living conditions and health of individual adults in eight former CIS countries.
  • to analyse which of the above factors are most important. Using complex multivariate statistics to understand under what circumstances and to what extent differences in individual choice of life styles, socio-economic status, ethnic behaviour, national health provision and aggregate national resources lead to differences in health.
  • to support the development of a pluralistic scientific system with research excellence by working with national teams of senior researchers in eight different CIS states
  • to create multi-level data sets bringing together aggregated health and environmental statistics with original survey data (18500 respondents) and qualitative sub-regional studies including Delphi-style feed back mechanisms
  • to use these results to determine the causes of declining health
  • to disseminate within each CIS country where research is conducted, through the WWW and other publicly available resources a clear statement of the evidence, and policy implications in the relevant national languages. The results of the research would also be made available to EU policymakers and researchers at an international level
  • to spell out the policy implications of these issues and to raise awareness about health issues based upon informed research.

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