Author(s): Dubikaytis T, Hrknen T, Regushevskaya E, Hemminki E, HaavioMannila E,
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Social determinants of health have not been intensively studied in Russia, even though the health divide has been clearly demonstrated by an increased mortality rate among those with low education. A comparative analysis of social health determinants in countries with different historical and economic backgrounds may provide useful evidence for addressing health inequalities. We aimed to assess socioeconomic determinants of self-rated health in St. Petersburg as compared to Estonia and Finland. METHODS: Data for women aged 18-44 were extracted from existing population-based surveys and analysed. In St. Petersburg the data were originally collected in 2003 (response rate 68\%), in Estonia in 2004-2005 (54\%), and in Finland in 2000-2001 (86\%). The study samples comprised 865 women in St. Petersburg, 2141 in Estonia and 1897 in Finland. RESULTS: Self-rated health was much poorer in St. Petersburg than in Estonia or Finland. High education was negatively associated with poor self-rated health in all the studied populations; it was (partially) mediated via health behaviour and limiting long-term illness only in Estonia and Finland, but not in St. Petersburg. High personal income and employment did not associate with poor self-rated health among St. Petersburg women, as it did in Estonia and Finland. In St. Petersburg housewives rather than employed women had better self-rated health, unlike the two other areas. CONCLUSION: Women's self-rated health in St. Petersburg varied similarly by education but differently by income and employment as compared to Estonia and Finland. Education is likely the most meaningful dimension of women's socioeconomic position in St. Petersburg. More research is needed to further clarify the pathways between socioeconomic position and health in Russia.
This article was published in Int J Equity Health
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health