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Life span and disability: a cross sectional comparison of Russian and Swedish community based data

Bobak, M; Kristenson, M; Pikhart, H; Marmot, M; (2004) Life span and disability: a cross sectional comparison of Russian and Swedish community based data. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.) , 329 (7477) 1288-. 10.1136/bmj.38202.667130.55.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To compare levels of disability (in terms of physical function and self rated health) among middle aged and elderly people in Russia and Sweden, a country with high life expectancy. DESIGN: Cross sectional study. SETTING: General population of the Russian Federation and of two counties in southern Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: Randomly selected men and women in Sweden (n = 9489) and Russia (n = 1599). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Official life table data; self rated health and physical functioning (subscale of the SF-36). RESULTS: The official life table data showed large differences in mortality--for example, 36% of Russian men aged 45-49 years would survive the next 25 years compared with 75% of Swedish men. The survey data showed, for both sexes, similar levels of self rated health and physical functioning in the two countries up to the age of about 45 years, but after that, the age related decline in both outcomes was much faster in Russia than in Sweden. By combining the national life tables with survey data on physical functioning we estimated that in the age group 45-49 years, 99% of Russian and 97% of Swedish men would be free of disability; of these, if these data were for a cohort, only 17% of Russians would be alive and free of disability 25 years later compared with 65% of Swedes. The difference in survival was similar in women. CONCLUSIONS: Large differences exist in survival without disability between elderly Russians and Swedes. The short life span in Russia reflects high levels of ill health and disability and is associated with a rapid age related decline in physical functioning.

Type: Article
Title: Life span and disability: a cross sectional comparison of Russian and Swedish community based data
DOI: 10.1136/bmj.38202.667130.55
Keywords: ageing, mortality, russia
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/38073
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