The changing borders of the European east-west health divide: blurring, shifting or multiplying?

Liubov V. Borisova, Södertörn University

The European East-West health divide takes its roots in the Cold War and is traditionally referred to in terms of the mortality-based proxies for health. Rarely is this divide analysed in detail using more comprehensive and systematic health measures. Therefore, this study aims to address this gap by first, performing factor analysis on health-related indicators to determine whether they could be understood as different aspects of the broader health profile. Second, longitudinal and cross-sectional cluster analysis is carried out, which examines the possible change of the European health divide since the early 1990’s. The country-level indicators from WHO are taken across 45 European countries between 1982 and 2010. I find that while a four-factor structure is inherent in the health profile, life expectancy at age 65 could be a suitable measure for the mortality-related health. Second, I find that the European health divide has changed and there are three very distinct groups forming: East, Centre and West. This finding is of particular importance for anyone dealing with European health and transition countries.

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Presented in Poster Session 2