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Adult Mortality Patterns in the Former Soviet Union’s Southern Tier

Armenia and Georgia in comparative perspective

Mortality trends in former Soviet Republics differ substantially among countries. While these trends have been well-documented for Russia and other northern former Soviet Republics, little is known about countries located in the southern tier of the region. To begin to fill this gap, Duthé et al. (2017) present evidence from Georgia and Armenia and compare it with countries which we know more about, namely Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Results show that Armenia and Georgia have similar levels of adult mortality as Kyrgystan. In comparative terms, those countries have weathered the collapse of the Soviet Union much better than Russia. This difference indicates that cultural factors seems to influence adult health behaviors (e.g. alcohol consumption) to a larger extent than macroeconomic factors. However, the authors stress that even though the southern tier countries studied have experienced more favorable adult mortality patterns than Russia, they have not experienced any progress in recent decades, especially for males. Their current adult mortality levels are similar to those observed in the late 1970s, and a worrisome increase is detected among Georgian males.

 

Original Paper: Duthé, G., Guillot, M., Meslé, F., Vallin, J., Badurashvili, I., et al. (2017): Adult mortality patterns in the former Soviet Union’s southern tier: Armenia and Georgia in comparative perspective. Demographic Research 36(19): 589-608.