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Eur J Public Health. 2008 Dec;18(6):666-73. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckn063. Epub 2008 Jul 15.

Ten year trends in chronic disease risk factors in the Republic of Karelia, Russia.

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North Karelia Centre for Public Health, Joensuu, Finland.



In Russia, non-communicable diseases are leading cause of death. The aim of this article is to describe changes in chronic disease risk factors (RFs) in Pitkäranta district in Russia during ten year period of time from 1992 to 2002.


Study areas were Pitkäranta and Aunus districts in the Republic of Karelia, North-West Russia. The RF surveys were carried out in Pitkäranta every fifth year since 1992 and in Aunus in 2003. Independent random samples, age 25-64, were taken from the population registers. Blood pressure, weight and height were measured. Serum cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglyceride and GGT values were determined from serum samples. Smoking and alcohol consumption were asked. The total number of respondents was 2766.


Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased in Pitkäranta from 1992 to 2002. Total serum cholesterol increased slightly. There was no significant change in BMI or in physical activity. Smoking did not change in males but increased among females. Self-reported alcohol use increased, as also mean GGT.


The study gives valuable information on developments of RFs in Russia. Some alarming tendencies in lifestyle were seen and chronic disease RF situation has generally worsened. The results also show how big is the challenge to change lifestyles deep in culture--and in the situation where preventive work and policies do not receive strong support. A reliable monitoring of RFs and behaviours is obviously a back bone for drawing necessary attention and to steer intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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