Gender differences in health awareness and attitudes as a subjective-objective health index in the population of Russia/Siberia (WHO MONICA-psychosocial program, HAPIEE project)


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Abstract

Aim. To establish gender differences in health attitudes and awareness of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in an open 25-64-year-old population of Russia/Siberia. Subjects and methods. A representative sample from the population of a Novosibirsk district was examined using the 1988 WHO MONICA-MOPSY (847 women and 739 men aged 25-64 years) and the 2003 HAPIEE (1074 women and 576 men aged 45-64 years) programs. The health awareness and attitudes questionnaire was used. Results. The number of persons who considered perfectly healthy was minimal (2%) in the open Siberian population aged 25-64 years. The view of health in the women proved to be more pessimistic than that in the men. The fact that two thirds of the population could fall ill with a serious disease in the coming 5-10 years was accepted. Mainly the men took the view that modern medicine might prevent heart disease. The men were regularly examined 2 to 3 times more often than the women. The latter versus the men were less frequently inclined to stop work if they felt not quite well on-site, with the difference being more marked in old age groups. The majority of the study participants considered preventive examination to be useful for health. At the same time only a small portion of the population itself undergoes examination. Conclusion. The changed socioeconomic situation in the country leads to the need to alter the established stereotypes of conscience and behavior of the population in health and to realize the need for personal responsibility for health.

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