Etniline kuuluvus kui terviserisk: Eesti venekeelsete elanike hinnangud oma tervisele 2004-2012

English title: Ethnicity as a risk factor for ill health: self-reported health among Russian-speaking population in Estonia 2004-2012

Author(s): Laura Aaben -

Language: Estonian

Type: Thesis / dissertation

Year: 2014


Inequalities in health are considered to be one of the biggest unsolved public health problems in developed countries. Ethnic origins are considered as one particular factor in shaping health inequalities. Investigations on this topic are important to public health as a discipline, but also to support political decision-making. The purpose of this paper is to analyze health differences between Estonians and Russians living in Estonia. In particular, the analysis focuses on the socio-economic, regional and origin-specific differences, describing the situation during 2004-2012. While ethnic differences in Estonia have been studied in the past, then this paper examines the situation for the first time since 2004. The paper is a cross-sectional study based on European Social Surveys Estonian data from 2004-2012. Survey sample is representative for the population of Estonia and composes of 15- year-olds and older participants. The sample is based on the national population register. The main dependent variable in the analysis is the respondents' subjective self reported health. The differences between different demographic, socio-economic etc groups are examined. In addition, origin and integration-related differences among Russians are studied. Differences between groups in poor health are analyzed using logistic regression and distribution data. Results are presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) and frequency-tables. The results show that among Russians living in Estonia, the odds for poor health are higher than among Estonians and during 8 years the ethnic differences have increased three-fold. Russians have higher odds to poor health in nearly all socio-demographic groups and differences are even wider among women. Ethic differences in women are strongly correlated to level of education and income. Among Russians the differences by ethnic origin and level on integration exist, but the reason for it is the respondents’ age, not ethnic origin. Russians living in the North East of Estonia have higher odds for poor health than the rest of Russians living elsewhere in Estonia. Economic differences raise the odds for poor health several times more in North-Estonian Russians than elsewhere in the country. Future research should examine more closely the reasons for Russian women's poorer subjective health and try to find answers why education has less impact on Russians health than Estonians. Also, correlations between perception of discrimination and health in Russian-speaking community need more studying.


Awarding institution: University of Tartu

Number of pages: 52

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