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Dying too young


Dying too young (2005). Washington, D.C.: World Bank: Europe and Central Asia Human Development Department Russia Country Management Unit.


THE POOR HEALTH STATUS of Russia’s economically active adult population—its human capital—challenges sustainable economic growth and social development. President Vladimir Putin, in his annual address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in May 2004 and more recently in the State-of-the-Nation Address on April 25, 2005, criticized the failure of health care reform to produce significant results, as evidenced by Russia’s lagging behind many countries in key health indicators. Life expectancy in Russia at 66 years, he noted, is 12 years less than it is in the United States, 8 years less than in Poland, and 5 years less than in China—a situation President Putin attributed to “the high death rate in the working-age population.”
Dying Too Young aims to heighten understanding of the nature and characteristics of non communicable diseases and injuries as the leading killers in the Russian Federation, its associated risk factors, and their social and economic implications. The study outlines specific options and offers recommendations for addressing this problem, and projects the health and economic gains that could result from a comprehensive program of action. Improving adult health would contribute to improved health status of the population, quality of life, labor productivity and sustainable economic growth in the country.

The poor health status of Russia's economically active adult population—its human capital—is imperiling sustainable economic and social development. What factors contribute to the excessive mortality, ill health, and disability in Russia, particularly among working-age adults? What are the demographic, social, and economic consequences of this phenomenon? Most importantly, what can be done to reduce these burdens?
This report shows that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries are the leading causes of death, illness, and disability in Russia, and assesses the factors associated with the onset of these conditions, the demographic, financial, and economic consequences of NCDs and injuries; summarizes relevant evidence and emerging lessons from international experience, proposes a comprehensive program for addressing this problem; and projects the health and economic gains that could result from such a program.


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