Inderscience Publishers

The socioeconomic aetiology of suicide mortality in Russia

Large-scale abrupt socioeconomic changes are often associated with unsustainable conditions in terms of populations' health. An epidemic increase in suicide death rates has been recorded in Russia during the turbulent period of the socioeconomic transition. The socioeconomic aetiology of suicide mortality has been analysed for a large set of Russian regions. Suicide rates were statistically accounted for by the 'transition-related stressors' – hyperinflation, severe economic depression, etc. Deficiency of coping resources – lacking economic activities of the regional populations – turned out to be the strongest explanatory variable. Heavy binge drinking was a significant, but not the leading mortality predictor. The study results support the idea that sustainable socioeconomic development is crucial for the prevention of stress-related mortality.

Keywords: suicide mortality, stress, socioeconomic transition, heavy drinking, binge drinking, coping resources, sustainable development, panel data analysis, Russian Federation, sustainability, death rates, Russia, hyperinflation, economic depression

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