Mortality and Risk Factors

Making best use of existing data

In this part of the study we are using existing data on mortality, population health, and factors of population health in the Russian Federation to get a better picture of cardiovascular disease in Russia today and over the past few decades. We are using three types of data: 1) routine statistical data on mortality by sex, age, causes of death, and regions of the country; 2) more detailed data on deaths and their medical causes; 3) micro-data from health surveys and population-based epidemiological studies. In addition to conducting analyses on these data,  our research assists other aspects of the project by providing them with essential data and context.

Cardiovascular Mortality

Mortality rates from cardiovascular disease are much higher in Russia than in most European countries. They also vary between Russian regions. Graphs and maps showing this can be found in the sections on the right.


Population Mortality Data

The population mortality data helps to identify quality problems and data biases, which may influence substantive results of epidemiological and demographic studies on Russia. We have found certain inconsistencies in registration of some causes of death across regions. This includes several cardiovascular diagnoses. Another data quality challenge is related to growing understatement of mortality at old and very old ages in large urban centers.

The population mortality data also allows us to examine health differences and health trends across regions. Important information can be obtained from comparisons of mortality patterns with neighboring countries that share the same legacy of the communist regime and hardships of the transition to a market economy that occurred in the 1990s.

The detailed data on deaths is helpful for an in-depth analysis of diagnostic patterns and coding practices for different groups of causes of death and for the cardiovascular conditions in particular. Such data highlights typical combinations of medical conditions as well as their correspondence with presence of alcohol and alcohol-related pathologies. This work involves collaboration with colleagues working on the validity of cause of death in the project.

Risk Factors

Finally, data from surveys and population-based epidemiological studies plays a central part in assessment of prevalence of risk factors and their links with hazard of death and disease. These data help us to find out whether risk profiles among Russians substantially differ from those elsewhere. In this regard a crucial question is whether the outstandingly high Russian mortality from CVD and other causes may be explained by very specific behavioral and bio-medical factors or alternatively by differences in social conditions and medical care. So far, we have conducted studies on prevalence of smoking and on principal biomarker patterns using data of more than 20 surveys.

Access to Health Care

Regarding medical care, with the colleagues working on the Russian Healthcare System in the project, we have completed  a study of inequalities in road travel times to specialist treatment facilities in Russia.


Timely access to the closest PCI facility in 2015, by districts, in minutes