A country divided? Regional variation in mortality in Ukraine
We just published a very interesting study by Adrianna Murphy, Nataliia Levchuk, Andrew Stickley, Bayard Roberts and Martin McKee from the European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London, the Institute of Demography and Social Sciences in Ukraine and the Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition in Sweden.
In this study, the authors explore the persisting gaps in life expectancy between East/South and West Ukraine. To do so, they examine mortality rates and causes of death in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2008.
The results show that in 2008 life expectancy for men in South (61.8 years) and East Ukraine (61.2 years) was lower than for men in West Ukraine (64.0 years). A similar pattern was observed among women. by 2008 deaths from infectious diseases played an increasingly important role, reflecting the documented steady increase in incidence of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Deaths from tuberculosis especially among those aged 24-44 are largely responsible for the observed difference in mortality from infectious diseases between East/South and West.
Since these deaths are entirely preventable, further research is warranted to identify protective factors in Western Ukraine as compared to South and East Ukraine.