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Explaining rising mortality among men in Eastern Europe

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  • Watson, Peggy
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    Since the mid-1960s, rates of premature mortality have increased among men in all Eastern European countries, giving rise to an East-West health divide. The paper examines the existing data concerning the possible role of levels of smoking, fats consumption and/or environmental factors in explaining this phenomenon. An overview is offered of the key ways in which social experience in Eastern Europe has diverged from that in the West and it is argued that such an overview is pre-requisite for understanding the deteriorating health of men in the East. The importance of the 'incongruity' between aspirations and the means of achieving them is highlighted, as is the centrality of family-based coping strategies. It is argued that the devaluing of the public sphere and valorization of the private domain contribute to the greater health vulnerability of men under in Eastern Europe. The importance of the private sphere is reflected in the fact that the rise of premature male mortality has been overwhelmingly concentrated in the non-married population in the East European countries for which data is currently available.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 41 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 7 (October)
    Pages: 923-934

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:41:y:1995:i:7:p:923-934
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