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Economic crisis, stress and mortality in Russia


Gavrilova, Natalia S.; Evdokushkina, Galina N.; Semyonova, Victoria G.; & Gavrilov, Leonid A. (2001). Economic crisis, stress and mortality in Russia.


In 1992 and 1998 Russia experienced two economic crises that led to dramatic impoverishment of population, social anxiety, and followed by mortality surges. This study analyzes age- and sex-specific mortality from violent causes in Russia after the 1992 and 1998 economic crises, using official statistical data. Accidents, injuries and alcohol poisoning demonstrated the most rapid relative increase in mortality for both sexes during the first 1992 crisis. Suicide mortality surge was particularly high in males while homicide dynamics was relatively similar for both sexes. The response to the 1998 crisis was different: the relative rate of homicide increase was particularly high among women while suicide dynamics did not demonstrate profound sex differences. Our findings suggest that the effects of the first crisis are related to stress and self-directed violence, while the second crisis is associated with violence against other persons (especially women). Further study of homicide and suicide mortality found specific responses to crisis of different age groups in the case of suicide mortality and the leading role of alcohol consumption in homicide mortality. Analysis of gender differences in suicide and homicide mortality showed increasing disadvantage of working age males in the case of suicides and increasing disadvantage of young females in the case of homicides. Factor analysis of violent mortality revealed 3 major underlying factors explaining over 92 percent of variation in external mortality which can be related to alcohol, violence, and stress. The effect of alcohol factor on violent mortality is dominating although its role in the recent years decreased while two other factors increased after 1992. Thus, violence and stress are the issues of major concern in explaining the most recent tendencies of mortality increase from violent causes. Supported in part by the grant from the MacArthur Foundation


Reference Type

Conference Paper

Year Published



Gavrilova, Natalia S.
Evdokushkina, Galina N.
Semyonova, Victoria G.
Gavrilov, Leonid A.