Self-reported heart symptoms are strongly linked to past and present poverty in Russia: evidence from the 1998 Taganrog interview survey.
Vagero D, Kislitsyna O.
1 Centre for Health Equity Studies, CHESS, Stockholm University/Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden 2 Sodertorns Hogskola University College (SCOHOST), Stockholm, Sweden.
BACKGROUND: In this Russian-Swedish collaborative study the question of how symptoms of heart disease are linked to poverty in Russia was addressed. METHOD: A random sample household survey was conducted in Taganrog, southern Russia. It covered questions about living circumstances, poverty and health. Health questions included both symptoms of heart problems, such as chest pain and high blood pressure, psychological problems such as depression and anxiety, as well as health-related behaviours such as alcohol drinking. Answers from 1972 women and men aged 18-70 are analysed here. RESULTS: The poorest fifth of the population were more than twice as likely as others to report heart symptoms. Problems in affording vegetables, meat or fish, clothes and footwear were linked to heart symptoms more closely than other economic indicators, such as car ownership or ownership of consumer durables. Psychological symptoms, sleeping problems and alcohol drinking were all related to self-reported heart symptoms, but explained little of the excess risks attributable to present poverty. Childhood poverty was also linked to present heart symptoms. CONCLUSION: Life-time accumulated experience of economic hardship contributes to present levels of heart disease symptomology in Russia.
PMID: 16014657 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]