Objective To examine the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF), its impacts on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality, and the associations between AF and inflammatory and serum biomarkers in a population-based sample of Muscovites. Methods The study is a secondary analysis of data from the Stress, Aging and Health in Russia (SAHR) survey that includes information on 1800 individuals with an average age of 68.5 years at baseline, and on their subsequent mortality during 7.4 years on average. AF is detected by 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and 24-hour Holter monitoring. The statistical analysis includes proportional hazard and logistic regression models. Results Of the 1732 participants with relevant Holter data, AF was detected in 100 (74 by ECG and Holter, 26 by Holter only). The prevalence of AF was 5.8% for men and 7.4% for women. The fully adjusted model showed strongly elevated hazard of CVD and all-cause mortality in men and women with long non-self-limiting AF (LAF). LAF was found to be negatively associated with elevated total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and to be positively associated with elevated markers of inflammation in women. Conclusions The study assessed for the first time the prevalence and the risks of death related to AF among older Russians. LAF was shown to be a strong and independent predictor of CVD and all-cause mortality. AF is unlikely to contribute to the large excess male mortality in Russia. The finding that one-quarter of AF cases were detected only by Holter monitoring demonstrates the usefulness of diagnostics with prolonged ECG registration
Background. Prior studies on spatial inequalities in mortality in Russia were restricted to the highest level of administrative division, ignoring variations within the regions. Using mortality data for 2239 districts, this study is the first analysis to capture the scale of the mortality divide at a more detailed level.
Methods. Age- standardised death rates are calculated using aggregated deaths for 2008–2012 and population exposures from the 2010 census. Inequality indices and decomposition are applied to quantify both the total mortality disparities across the districts and the contributions of the variations between and within regions.
Results. Regional variations in mortality mask one- third (males) and one- half (females) of the inequalities observed at the district level. A comparison of the 5% of individuals residing in the districts with the highest and the lowest mortality shows a gap of 15.5 years for males and 10.3 years for females. The lowest life expectancy levels are in the shrinking areas of the Far East and Northwest of Russia. The highest life expectancy clusters are in the intercity districts of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and in several science cities. Life expectancy in these best- practice districts is close to the national averages of Poland and Estonia, but is still substantially below the averages in Western countries.
Conclusion. The large between- regional and within- regional disparities suggest that national- level mortality could be lowered if these disparities are reduced by improving health in the laggard areas. This can be achieved by introducing policies that promote health convergence both within and between the Russian regions.
Background. The Russian Federation has very high cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates compared with countries of similar economic development. This cross-sectional study compares the characteristics of CVD-free participants with and without recent primary care contact to ascertain their CVD risk and health status.
Methods. A total of 2774 participants aged 40–69 years with no self-reported CVD history were selected from a population-based study conducted in Arkhangelsk and Novosibirsk, Russian Federation, 2015–2018. A range of co-variates related to socio-demographics, health and health behaviours were included. Recent primary care contact was defined as seeing primary care doctor in the past year or having attended a general health check under the 2013 Dispansarisation programme.
Results. The proportion with no recent primary care contact was 32.3% (95% CI 29.7% to 35.0%) in males, 16.3% (95% CI 14.6% to 18.2%) in females, and 23.1% (95% CI 21.6% to 24.7%) overall. In gender-specific age-adjusted analyses, no recent contact was also associated with low education, smoking, very good to excellent self-rated health, no chest pain, CVD 10-year SCORE risk 5+%, absence of hypertension control, absence of hypertension awareness and absence of care-intensive conditions. Among those with no contact: 37% current smokers, 34% with 5+% 10-year CVD risk, 32% untreated hypertension, 20% non-anginal chest pain, 18% problem drinkers, 14% uncontrolled hypertension and 9% Grade 1–2 angina. The proportion without general health check attendance was 54.6%.
Conclusion. Primary care and community interventions would be required to proactively reach sections of 40–69 year olds currently not in contact with primary care services to reduce their CVD risk through diagnosis, treatment, lifestyle recommendations and active follow-up.
Introduction and Aims.Eastern Europe is known to suffer from a large burden of alcohol-related mortality. However,persisting unfavourable conditions at the national level mask variation at the sub-national level. We aim to explore spatialpatterns of cause-specific mortality across four post-communist countries: Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Russia (Europeanpart).Design and Methods.We use official mortality data routinely collected over 1179 districts and cities. The analysisrefers to males aged 20–64 years and covers the period 2006–2014. Mortality variation is mainly assessed by means of thestandardised mortality ratio.Getis-Ord Gi*statisticis employed to detect hot and cold spots of alcohol-related mortality.Results.Alcohol-related mortality exhibits a gradient from very high levels in northwestern Russia to low levels in southernPoland. Spatial transitions from higher to lower mortality are not explicitly demarcated by national boundaries. Within thesecountries, hot spots of alcohol-related mortality dominate the territories of northwestern and western Russia, eastern and north-western Belarus, southeastern Lithuania, and eastern and central Poland.Discussion and Conclusions.The observedmortality gradient is likely associated with the spread of alcohol epidemics from the European part of Russia to the other coun-tries, which appears to have started more than a century ago. Contemporary socioeconomic and demographic factors should betaken into account when developing anti-alcohol policies. The same is true for the peculiarities of culture, norms, traditionsand behavioural patterns observed in specific geographical areas of the four countries. Reducing alcohol-related harm in theareas identified as hot spots should be prioritised.
Introduction and Aims
In the 1990s, a strong inverse relationship between life expectancy (LE) in Russia and mortality from alcohol poisoning was observed. This association is remarkable as this cause accounts for less than 2% of deaths each year. It can be explained by treating the alcohol poisoning mortality as the best available measure in Russia of the population prevalence of harmful drinking in any year which in turn associated with mortality from a wide range of causes. This study analyses the evolving relationship of LE with this mortality‐based measure of harmful drinking since 1965, and places it in a policy context.
Design and Methods
We examine three periods: 1965–1984, a period of gradual LE decline; 1984–2003, a period of massive LE fluctuations; and 2003–2017, a period of LE improvement. Pearson's correlation coefficients and a linear relationship between annual changes in LE and alcohol poisoning were estimated for each period.
The strongest negative correlation between changes in LE and alcohol poisonings was found in 1984–2003. Over the period 2003–2017 a consistent positive LE trend emerged that was statistically independent of alcohol poisoning.
Discussion and Conclusions
These results suggest that in the period from the mid‐2000s a growth of LE in Russia was to a large extent independent of changes in the population prevalence of harmful drinking. While there has been a reduction in mortality at ages 15–64, at older ages mortality reduction unrelated to alcohol has become an increasingly important driver of overall mortality improvements.
The study aims at identifying long-term trends and patterns of current smoking by age, gender, and education in Russia, including the most recent period from 2008 during which tobacco control policies were implemented, and to estimate the impact on mortality of any reductions in prevalence. We present an in-depth analysis based on an unprecedentedly large array of survey data.
We examined pooled micro-data on smoking from 17 rounds of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Study of 1996–2016, 11 other surveys conducted in Russia in 1975–2017, and two comparator surveys from England and the USA. Standardization by age and education, regression and meta-analysis were used to estimate trends in the prevalence of current smoking by gender, age, and educational patterns.
From the mid-1970s to the mid-2000s smoking prevalence among men was relatively stable at around 60%, after which time prevalence declined in every age and educational group. Among women, trends in smoking were more heterogeneous. Prevalence more than doubled above the age of 55 years from very low levels (< 5%). At younger ages, there were steep increases until the mid-2000s after which prevalence has declined. Trends differed by educational level, with women in the lowest educational category accounting for most of the long-term increase. We estimate that the decline in male smoking may have contributed 6.2% of the observed reduction in cardiovascular deaths among men in the period 2008–16.
The implementation of an effective tobacco control strategy in Russia starting in 2008 coincided with a decline in smoking prevalence among men from what had been stable, high levels over many decades regardless of age and education. Among women, the declines have been more uneven, with young women showing recent downturns, while the smoking prevalence in middle age has increased, particularly among those with minimal education. Among men, these positive changes will have made a small contribution to the reduction in mortality seen in Russia since 2005.
Uncontrolled hypertension is a major cardiovascular risk factor. We examined uncontrolled hypertension and differences in treatment regimens between a high-risk country, Russia, and low-risk Norway to gain better understanding of the underlying factors.
Population-based survey data on 40–69 year olds with hypertension defined as taking antihypertensives and/or having high blood pressure (140+/90+ mmHg) were obtained from Know Your Heart Study (KYH, N = 2284), Russian Federation (2015–2018) and seventh wave of The Tromsø Study (Tromsø 7, N = 5939), Norway (2015–2016). Uncontrolled hypertension was studied in the subset taking antihypertensives (KYH: N = 1584; Tromsø 7: 2792)and defined as having high blood pressure (140+/90+ mmHg). Apparent treatment resistant hypertension (aTRH) was defined as individuals with uncontrolled hypertension on 3+ OR controlled on 4+ antihypertensive classes in the same subset.
Among all those with hypertension regardless of treatment status, control of blood pressure was achieved in 22% of men (KYH and Tromsø 7), while among women it was 33% in Tromsø 7 and 43% in KYH. When the analysis was limited to those on treatment for hypertension, the percentage uncontrolled was higher in KYH (47.8%, CI 95 44.6–50.9%) than Tromsø 7 (38.2, 36.1–40.5%). The corresponding figures for aTRH were 9.8% (8.2–11.7%) and 5.7% (4.8–6.8%).
Antihypertensive monotherapies were more common than combinations and used by 58% in Tromsø 7 and 44% in KYH. In both KYH and Tromsø 7, untreated hypertension was higher in men, those with no GP visit in the past year and problem drinkers. In both studies, aTRH was associated with older age, CVD history, obesity, and diabetes. In Tromsø 7, also male gender and any drinking. In KYH, also chronic kidney disease.
There is considerable scope for promoting combination therapies in line with European treatment guidelines in both study populations. The factors associated with untreated hypertension overlap with known correlates of treatment non-adherence and health check non-attendance. In contrast, aTRH was characterised by obesity and underlying comorbidities potentially complicating treatment.
Based on official statistics, the author tries to address the question of why the infant mortality rate in Russia is significantly higher than might be expected given the measures taken to protect the health of pregnant women and newborns. In the introduction, the author explains the relevance of studying inequality in the level of infant mortality among the population of modern Russia as a factor holding back the positive downward trend.
After presenting the latest history of the evolution of the information and statistical base for population studies on the subjects under review, the author confirms the approach according to which it is advisable to work with data for real generations when analyzing the differentiation of infant mortality and generations born in 2014-2016 are chosen as the object of analysis.
To determine the relevance of individual factors contributing to infant mortality, the author cross-tabulated raw data. Data on such initial characteristics (factors) as the birth order of the child, whether a mother is in a contracted civil marriage or not, mother’s level of education, were grouped by age groups of mothers. The use of cross-tabulation allowed to affirm not only the influence of individual factors on the level of infant mortality but also a quantitative differentiation between them. The article concludes the extent to which the overall level of infant mortality is determined by mortality rates from individual causes of death.
A significant part of the article is presented in the format of author generalization using statistical methods regarding the educational differences of mothers, which have become differentiation factors in infant mortality rates.
The socio-demographic analysis based on official statistics has confirmed not only some hypotheses as to why, despite the relatively rapid decrease in infant mortality in Russia in recent years, its level remains higher than in almost all European countries with reliable demographic statistics, but also to reveal the extent of the inequality of infant mortality in our country.
The author argues that the reason why Russia lags behind many countries with the positive downward infant mortality trend is strongly associated with causes of death from conditions arising in the perinatal period as well as congenital disorders. This suggests that the level of medical care for pregnant women and newborns in Russia is still lower than in developed European countries. It also has to be assumed that different educational groups have unequal access to quality health care. А proactive approach to life as well as a progressive achievement of the right to choose a medical institution and a doctor - is one of the important directions for resolving a whole set of national health care issues.
This Chapter contains an analysis of long-term trends of mortality, life expectancy, and infant mortality in Russia and its regions. Special attention is paid to the aspects of traffic safety policy in Europe and Russia. The policy on reducing mortality and increasing life expectancy in Russia is also considered.
Commentary on the article by Nemtsov et al.(2019, this issue)
The problem of excess mortality in Russia has not lost its relevance. The situation is complicated by the high level of spatial inequality in health, which is usually measured at the regional level in our country. This work is one of the first attempts to look at the dynamics and extent of spatial inequality in health in Russia at the sub-regional level, by contrasting the "center/core" (in our case, represented by the largest Russian cities) with the "periphery" (the rest of the country). Cities with a population of over a million people were chosen based on the spatial hierarchy that exists in Russia, according to which the highest level of social and economic development is concentrated in the largest cities. As a rule, a higher level of development of human capital corresponds to lower mortality. Using data provided by Rosstat, we calculated life expectancy at birth for Russian cities with a population of over a million people in 1989-2016. The results fully coincided with our expectations: the polarization in the health levels between the largest Russian cities and the rest of the country has significantly increased in the last twenty-five years, which is a reflection of those centripetal processes that have been taking place in our country during this period. Russian cities with a population of over a million people are attractive destinations for both internal and external migrants, and thus acquire, among other things, a much more educated population. Since people with higher education take better care of their health, having a more educated population is undoubtedly an essential advantage of bigger cities over the periphery when it comes to the overall health level. Without solving the structural problems that restrain social and economic development outside the largest agglomerations, convergence in mortality rates between cities with a population of over a million people and the surrounding territories is hardly possible.
Research indicates that women have higher levels of physical disability and depression and lower scores on physical performance tests compared to men, while the evidence for gender differences in self-rated health is equivocal. Scholars note that these patterns may be related to women over-reporting and men under-reporting health problems, but gender differences in reporting behaviors have not been rigorously tested. Using Wave 1 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the present study investigates the extent to which adjusting for differences in reporting behavior modifies gender differences in general health. We also examine whether men and women's reporting behaviors are consistent across different levels of education. After adjusting for reporting heterogeneity, gender differences in both poor and good health widened. However, we found no clear gender-specific patterns in reporting either poor or good health. Our findings also do not provide convincing evidence that education is an important determinant of general health reporting, although the female disadvantage in poor health and the male advantage in good health were more apparent in lower than higher education groups at all ages. The results challenge prevailing stereotypes that women over-report and men under-report health problems and highlight the importance of attending to health problems reported by women and men with equal care.
Background: Since 2005, Russia has made substantial progress, experiencing an almost doubling of per-capita gross domestic product by purchasing power parity (GDP [PPP]) to US$24 800 and witnessing a 6-year increase in life expectancy, reaching 71·4 years by 2015. Even greater gains in GDP (PPP) were seen for Moscow, the Russian capital, reaching $43 000 in 2015 and with a life expectancy of 75·5 years. We aimed to investigate whether mortality levels now seen in Russia are consistent with what would be expected given this new level of per-capita wealth.
Methods: We used per-capita GDP (PPP) and life expectancy from 61 countries in 2014–15, plus those of Russia as a whole and its capital Moscow, to construct a Preston curve expressing the relationship between mortality and national wealth and to examine the positions of Russia and other populations relative to this curve. We adjusted life expectancy values for Moscow for underestimation of mortality at older ages. For comparison, we constructed another Preston curve based on the same set of countries for the year 2005. We used the stepwise replacement algorithm to decompose mortality differences between Russia or Moscow and comparator countries with similar incomes into age and cause-of-death components.
Findings: Life expectancy in 2015 for both Russia and Moscow lay below the Preston-curve-based expectations by 6·5 years and 4·9 years, respectively. In 2015, Russia had a lower per-capita income than 36 of the comparator countries but lower life expectancy than 60 comparator countries. However, the gaps between the observed and the Preston-expected life expectancy values for Russia have diminished by about 25% since 2005, when the life expectancy gap was 8·9 years for Russia and 6·6 years for Moscow. When compared with countries with similar level of income, the largest part of the life expectancy deficit was produced by working-age mortality from external causes for Russia and cardiovascular disease at older ages for Moscow.
Interpretation: Given the economic wealth of Russia, its life expectancy could be substantially higher. Sustaining the progress seen over the past decade depends on the ability of the Russian Government and society to devote adequate resources to people’s health.
The article presents the author’s reflections on theories in general and demographic theories in particular. The epidemiological transition, i.e. periodization of changes in the structure of causes of death, proposed by A.R. Omran in 1971 and later raised to the rank of theory, is taken as an example. The author points out the insufficiency of Omran’s concept to explain the contemporary mortality trends and suggests possible directions of theorizing that would enable correlating the new stage of life expectancy growth with the notion of “epidemiological transition”.
Objectives. To assess disparities in mortality by socioeconomic status in Germany.
Design and participants. We analyse a large administrative dataset of the German Pension Fund (DRV), including 27 million person-years of exposure and 42 000 deaths in 2013. The data cover the economically active population, stratified by sex and by East and West.
Outcome measures. Age-standardised mortality rates and Poisson regression mortality rate ratios (MRRs).
Results. The risk of dying increases with decreasing income: the MRRs of the lowest to the highest income quintile are 4.66 (95% CI 4.48 to 4.85) among men and 3.06 (95% CI 2.90 to 3.23) among women. The impact of income attenuates after controlling for education and other explanatory variables, especially for females. In the fully controlled model for females, individual income is a weaker predictor of mortality, but there is a clear educational mortality gradient. In the fully controlled model, the MRRs of the unemployed to the employed are 2.09 (95% CI 2.03 to 2.15) among men and 2.01 (95% CI 1.92 to 2.10) among women. The risk of dying is around half as high among foreigners as among German citizens. The socioeconomic disparities are greater among East than West German men.
Conclusions. Low socioeconomic status is a major determinant of excess adult mortality in Germany. The persisting East-West differences in male adult mortality can be explained by the higher socioeconomic status of men living in the West, rather than by contextual differences between East and West. These differences can be further monitored using DRV data.
Background Although estimates of socioeconomic mortality disparities in Germany exist, the trends in these disparities since the 1990s are still unknown. This study examines mortality trends across socioeconomic groups since the late 1990s among retired German men aged 65 and above.
Methods Large administrative data sets were used to estimate mortality among retired German men, grouped according to their working-life biographies. The data covered the years 1997–2016 and included more than 84.1 million person-years and 4.3 million deaths. Individual pension entitlements served as a measure of lifetime income. Changes in total life expectancy at age 65 over time were decomposed into effects of group-specific mortality improvements and effects of compositional change.
Results Over the two decades studied, male mortality declined in all income groups in both German regions. As mortality improved more rapidly among higher status groups, the social gradient in mortality widened. Since 1997, the distribution of pension entitlements of retired East German men has shifted substantially downwards. As a result, the impact of the most disadvantaged group on total mortality has increased and has partly attenuated the overall improvement.
Conclusion Our results demonstrate that socioeconomic deprivation has substantial effects on levels of mortality in postreunification Germany. While East German retirees initially profited from the transition to the West German pension system, subsequent cohorts had to face challenges associated with the transition to the market economy. The results suggest that postreunification unemployment and status decline had delayed effects on old-age mortality in East Germany.
Since 2010, the rate of improvement in life expectancy in the UK has slowed. We aimed to put this trend in the context of changes over the long term and in relation to a group of other high-income countries.
We compared sex-specific trends in life expectancy since 1970 and age-specific mortality in England and Wales with median values for 22 high-income countries (in western Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and the USA). We used annual mortality data (1970–2016) from the Human Mortality Database.
Until 2011–16, male life expectancy in England and Wales followed the median life expectancy of the comparator group. By contrast, female life expectancy was below the median and is among the lowest of the countries considered. In 2011–16, the rate of improvement in life expectancy slowed sharply for both sexes in England and Wales, and slowed more moderately in the comparator group because of negative trends in all adult age groups. This deceleration resulted in a widening gap between England and Wales and the comparators from 2011 onwards. Since the mid-2000s, for the first time, mortality rates in England and Wales among people aged 25–50 years were appreciably higher than in the comparator group.
Although many countries have seen slower increases in life expectancy since 2011, trends in England and Wales are among the worst. The poor performance of female life expectancy over the long-term is in part driven by the relative timing of the smoking epidemic across countries. The previously overlooked higher mortality among young working-age adults in England and Wales relative to other countries deserves urgent attention.
Data from a well-functioning regional population-based cancer registry makes it possible to calculate a system of indicators characterizing the level of cancer morbidity and mortality of regional population at a certain period of time. These indicators are similar in their characteristics to those of life-tables and are virtually independent of the population’s age structure. To some extent they are also independent of the past levels of cancer morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, the scope of analysis of data from Russian regional population-based cancer registries is limited. The completeness of incidence and mortality records also remains unknown. We have conducted an analysis of data from 5 regional population-based cancer registries of the North-West Federal District of Russia for early 2002 to late 2013. This article was designed as a comparative study of two time periods: 2002-2007 and 2008-2013. We have analyzed the changes in incidence and mortality (lethality) from the most common groups of malignant neoplasms. We have analyzed the levels and dynamics of age-standardized incidence and mortality rates alongside tabular indicators such as the total number of incident cases, the total number of deaths, the average age at malignant disease onset, the average life expectancy of those ill with cancer, etc. The main purpose is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed analytical methods and the entire range of possible research capabilities that will become available should open access to data from Russian population-based cancer registries be granted.