Socio-economic differences in the consumption of vegetables, fruit and berries in Russian and Finnish Karelia: 1992-2007.
ABSTRACT Food habits and their socio-economic differences in Russia have rarely been compared to those in western countries. Our aim was to determine socio-economic differences and their changes in the consumption of vegetables, fruit and berries in two neighbouring areas: the district of Pitkäranta in the Republic of Karelia, Russia, and North Karelia, Finland.
Cross-sectional risk factor surveys in Pitkäranta, in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007 (1144 men, 1528 women) and in North Karelia, in 1992, 1997 and 2002 (2049 men, 2316 women), were carried out. Data collected with a self-administered questionnaire were analysed with logistic regression.
The consumption of fruit and vegetables was more common in North Karelia than in Pitkäranta, but increased markedly in Pitkäranta from 1992 to 2007. In Pitkäranta, women, and in North Karelia both men and women with higher education ate fresh vegetables more often than those with a lower education. In both areas, daily consumption of fruit tended to be more common among subjects with a higher education. In Pitkäranta, there were virtually no differences by employment status. In North Karelia, vegetable consumption was less common among the unemployed than the employed subjects. Only minor socio-economic differences in berry consumption were observed. The educational differences in vegetable consumption seemed to widen in Pitkäranta and narrow in North Karelia.
A converging trend was observed, with the Russian consumption levels and socio-economic differences starting to approach those observed in Finland. This may be partly explained by the improvements in availability and affordability of fruit and vegetables in Pitkäranta.
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ABSTRACT: To determine the association between social factors and the increase in mortality in Russia in the 1990s. Prospective population cohort study. Saint Petersburg, Russia. Two cohorts of men aged 40-59 years randomly selected from district voting list: 3907 screened in 1975-7 and 1467 in 1986-8. Education, various health related measures, alcohol intake. Mortality in subsequent 10 years. There was no recorded increase in mortality in men with university degrees. The relative risk in the second cohort compared with the first was 0.92 (95% confidence interval 0.67 to 1.24). For participants with only high school education it was significantly higher in the second cohort (1.32, 1.02 to 1.71). The most pronounced differences were found among participants with the lowest level of education, in which the relative risk was 1.75 (1.44 to 2.12). The same pattern held for coronary vascular disease and cancer mortality. In Russia men in the lower socioeconomic groups were most affected by the sharp increases in mortality in the 1990s.BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 07/2003; 326(7401):1240-2.
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ABSTRACT: The changes in Russian mortality rates during the last two decades are unprecedented in a modern industrialized country. Although these fluctuations have attracted much interest, trends for major groups of causes of death have been analysed while trends in specific causes of death might shed light on the underlying determinants. We analysed trends in total and cause-specific mortality in Russia for 1991-2006. The records of 24 836 forensic autopsies carried out during the period 1990-2004 in the city of Barnaul were analysed with respect to blood alcohol level. Diseases of the circulatory system (in the age group 35-69 years) and external causes (in the age group 15-34 years) were the main contributors to the fluctuations in Russian mortality rates observed in 1991-2006. The largest relative changes were for conditions directly related to alcohol intake. Among cardiovascular diseases, fluctuations were due to 'other forms' of acute and chronic ischaemia, and to atherosclerotic heart disease, while rates of myocardial infarction were low and relatively constant. In the autopsy series a very high proportion of decedents whose death was attributed to 'other' or 'not classified' cardiovascular diseases had lethal or potentially lethal concentrations of ethanol in blood. The increases in mortality in 1991-94 and in 1998-2003 coincided with economic and societal crisis, while decreases in 1994-98 and 2003-06 correlate with improvement in the economic situation. Excessive alcohol intake is a major cause of premature male Russian mortality, although many alcohol-related deaths are wrongly attributed to diseases of the circulatory system.International Journal of Epidemiology 10/2008; 38(1):143-53. · 6.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have addressed the question whether the relatively high incidence of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers in countries of central/eastern Europe might be associated with nutritional imbalance, in particular a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet in winter months. Nutritional parameters and markers of oxidative stress were studied in three Slovak population groups: 46 survivors of myocardial infarction (MI group) and 48 healthy, normolipidemic subjects (NL), living in or near Bratislava; and 70 rural controls (RC group) living a more traditional life style in a country town. Data were collected in February/March and September/October of two consecutive years, representing times of minimum and maximum local availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. Oxidative stress was monitored using two biomarkers; plasma malondialdehyde (MDA, a product of lipid peroxidation), and oxidation of lymphocyte DNA. Dietary antioxidants, folic acid, homocysteine, total antioxidant status (FRAP) and uric acid were measured in plasma. Food frequency questionnaires were administered. Vegetable consumption in summer/autumn was twice as high as in winter/spring. DNA damage did not vary consistently across the seasons. Mean plasma MDA levels for the MI and NL groups showed a clear pattern, with high levels in winter/spring and low levels in summer/autumn. Folic acid showed a reciprocal pattern, similar to the pattern of vegetable consumption. The RC group had the smallest seasonal variations in vegetable consumption, folic acid levels, and MDA. High winter MDA levels are seen in those individuals with relatively low folic acid; they never occur in subjects with high plasma folic acid, implying that folic acid might directly protect against lipid oxidation. This study illustrates the value of the molecular epidemiological approach, while emphasising the need for well characterised population groups and valid biomarkers.Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 08/2004; 551(1-2):135-44. · 3.90 Impact Factor