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Recent trends in coronary risk factors in the USSR


American Journal of Public Health 72(5): 431-440
Recent trends in coronary risk factors in the USSR
The soviet Union has experienced an increase in the incidence of coronary heart disease over the last 15 years sufficient to result in an overall deterioration in the health of adults. The distribution of coronary risk factors, and the secular trends in diet and cigarette consumption, provide a potential explanation for the upsurge in death rates. The animal fat content of the Soviet diet has been steadily enriched since the 1950s and cigarette production increased 72 per cent from 1959 to 1980. The post-Stalin orientation of the Soviet economy toward a policy of motivating the work force primarily through the provision of consumer goods, in a pattern comparable to western capitalist countries, appear to have laid the basis for these developments. Given the central control of Soviet society, the negative impact of current economic policy on the public health could be viewed as paradoxical. Our analysis suggests that the paradox is only apparent, however, and that the basis for the widespread occurrence of coronary heart disease is similar in the Soviet Union and western societies.

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Accession: 006269822

PMID: 7065330

DOI: 10.2105/ajph.72.5.431



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