This book is an attempt to analyse the unfavourable developments in the dynamics of mortality and life expectancy in post- communist countries in the global context.
It appears that this mortality crisis in post-communist countries has a lot of similarities with the recent unfavourable developments in health status in developed countries and many developing countries.
Such unfavourable trends have been caused by socio-economic, anon-material' factors, namely by a loss of social dynamism and/or stress, associated with economic restructuring and social adjustments.
First, the stagnation of life expectancy in the former Soviet Union in 1965-90, after the rapid increase in 1920-65, is an important, under-researched phenomenon that enables study of the impact of the loss of social dynamism on health status.
Second, the decline in life expectancy in the 1990s enables study of the impact of social stress on health status.
Simplifying things, one can say that in the first case, life expectancy did not improve because there were too few changes in life, whereas in the second case, it declined due to excess changes that created stress.
In both cases, however, the problem is that of finding an optimal measure of social changes that are beneficial to the quality of life and its longevity.
The main goal of this book is to analyse common reasons for these developments in order to derive lessons from the experiences of particular countries.