Lege Artis Medicinae

[Healthy life expectancy in Central and Eastern Europe]

MOLNÁR László

SEPTEMBER 30, 1992

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1992;2(09)

[In Central and Eastern Europe, life expectancy has fallen over the past few decades, becoming shorter than it was three decades ago. Women in East-Central Europe also live longer than men, but at a more modest rate than in developed countries. But it is not just the length of life that matters, but also its quality. It also depends on people: how much of their lives they live in good health or ill health. In the mid-1960s, life expectancy in Hungary was close to that of the world's most developed countries, but there was a certain degree of under-achievement. The disconnect intensified from the second half of the 1960s. Life expectancy at birth in 1986-87 was the lowest in Hungary of 33 developed countries. The last 8 places among the developed countries were occupied by countries that attempted to build a socialist society on the basis of Stalinism. In Hungary, and in East-Central Europe as a whole, the health of the population under the Stalinist regime had two basic characteristics: 1. low life expectancy and high premature death, 2. early onset of chronic diseases during the life course, with a consequent deterioration in quality of life. So it is not only that the life expectancy was shorter in the last decades, but also that the population lived fewer years with diseases and a lower quality of life. ]

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