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East-West European comparison of chronic disease risk factors, related health behaviours and effects of innovative antismoking interventions, with special reference to Russian Karelia


-To assess east-west differences in main cardiovascular disease risk factors.
-To assess the health behavior pattern in participating countries.
-To compare the feasibility and the effectiveness of smoking cessation contest as a health promotion method in different cultural settings.
-To evaluate effects of an innovative antismoking intervention in Russian Karelia.

During the last decades the life-expectancy in Western European countries has increased relatively steadily, while countries of Central and Eastern Europe have experienced an alarming deterioration in life-expectancy. Available information shows that the east-west gap is explained especially by CVD, cancer and violent deaths. Causality of major risk factors have been identified by intensive medical research. We still lack good and comparable information on risk factors in Western and Eastern Europe. Information is needed to be able to assess whether the large gap can be explained by similar differences in risk factors and lifestyles. The project carried out in six Europe well representative countries of EU and C&EEC (Finland, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Poland and Russia) will be divided in four main parts: risk factor survey, health behavior survey, evaluation of the Quit and Win 1996 campaign and evaluation of an innovative intervention in Russian Karelia. The aim of the risk factor survey is to analyze CVD risk factor data from very comparable surveys of representative population samples of 25 to 64 year old people. The differences between the countries and particularly the east-west differences will be assessed. The health behavior survey will be done by standardized questionnaire before the smoking cessation contest in the participating areas. Particular emphasis will be put on smoking related health behavior. The Quit and Win campaign will be carried out in all participating areas in spring 1996. The evaluation of the campaign will be based on the one year follow-ups of the registered participants and smokers in the previously done health behavior survey. An innovative community-based antismoking intervention programme will be carried out in the demonstration area of Pitkäranta. The evaluation will be based on a quasi-experimental study design with an other matched district in the Republic of Karelia.


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