Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

HITT-2008 — Result In Brief

Project ID: 223344
Funded under: FP7-HEALTH

Towards better health in post-Soviet communities

Many post-Soviet communities suffer alcoholism, high tobacco consumption and suboptimal nutrition, social challenges that burden national health systems and compromise living standards. Recent research has shed light on the health trends in these communities in order to support public health policymaking.
Towards better health in post-Soviet communities
The research formed part of the EU-funded ‘Health in times of transition: Trends in population health and health policies in CIS countries’ (HITT-2008) project. The aim was to understand the long-term trends of population health as a consequence of socioeconomic transitions, with a focus on lifestyle-related issues.

Key issues included diet, nutrition, smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as related societal implications. The project made use of in-depth empirical, statistical and socioeconomic research efforts in selected countries, including Russia and Ukraine. Large-scale household surveys, multiple regressions and structured observations, mapping, media analysis, interviews and focus groups were conducted.

Using the data generated, HITT-2008 was able to draw many conclusions about the current social challenges of the post-Soviet region, and their effect on health care. For example, while access to health care appears to have improved over the past decade, considerable problems remain. These include out-of-pocket payments and inability to pay for health services.

Other findings revealed a dramatic increase in alcohol supply in Russia since the early 1990s, and high nicotine dependence among men in a number of the study countries. Numerous other areas of concern, such as health, food intake, chronic diseases and access to pharmaceutical drugs, were also thoroughly studied.

Not surprisingly, poor health in the former Soviet Union has negative impacts on labour supply as ill people have a lower likelihood of working. This research also revealed a relationship between ill health and poverty and psychosocial measures of distress.

The results of the project are now available to key decision makers. In this way, HITT-2008 should contribute to better health for the populations in the countries concerned. Watch the project’s video here.

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