Health and mortality during transition in Latvia
Juris Krumins, University of Latvia
Over the last fifteen years Latvia has faced tremendous socio-demographic changes. Life expectancy declined from pre-transition level by four years. Socio-economic situation improved from the second half of 1990s. Life expectancy in 2002 exceeded pre-transitional level. The purpose of this study is to clarify main determinants behind mortality changes and differentials during 1989-2004. The methodology applied to mortality trends is based on an analysis of territorial differences in changes over time in age-standardized death rates by means of multiple regression analysis. Survey data are analysed to clarify different aspects of health status and the main determinants affecting peoples’ health. The psychosocial stress was a mortality increase-generating factor at the beginning of transition. Its role diminished and disappeared during subsequent years. Reform in the health care system has caused differences in accessibility of health care services. Among determinants of health status, the most explicit are levels of education and income.