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Social patterning of ill health in Helsinki and Moscow: Results from a comparative survey in 1991

  • Palosuo, Hannele
  • Uutela, Antti
  • Zhuravleva, Irina
  • Lakomova, Nina
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    Social inequalities in health are widely documented in the western countries including Finland, but research on Russia has so far been scarce. This article compares self-reported ill health of men and women and its social patterning in Helsinki and Moscow on the basis of a survey. The data (Helsinki N=824, Moscow N=545) were collected by mailed questionnaires in 1991. The Muscovites fared more poorly on perceived and psychological health, but the differences in self-reported morbidity (prevalence of chronic illnesses) between the cities were quite small. The sex differentials were greater in Moscow and Muscovite women had the poorest health of all. Education, family income and occupation had the most consistent associations with perceived health and morbidity among Helsinki women and the weakest among Muscovite women. With few exceptions, men of both cities fell between these groups. The differences in health between the cities were smaller in groups with low education. Thus, the role of education as a protective resource was more pronounced in Helsinki, and more notably among women. The possibility of a different impact of social stratification on health in a transitional socialist society compared to a western market economy is discussed.

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

    Volume (Year): 46 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 9 (May)
    Pages: 1121-1136

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:46:y:1998:i:9:p:1121-1136
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