Several factors, in particular those related to adult experience and life style, have been suggested as explanations for the adverse health situation and increasing health inequalities in Eastern Europe and former Soviet countries. However, the larger part of these phenomena has remained unexplained. This is one of the first studies looking for the associations between early life course factors of individual social career, adult health and health related behaviours in Eastern Europe.
The study explores data from two national Health Interview Surveys conducted in Estonia in 1996 (N=4711) and 2006 (N=6434). Multiple logistic regression analysis will be used as a main statistical tool. Both surveys used retrospective study design, covering social, economic and behavioural exposures and self-reported health conditions in early life and adulthood. This study design allows analysis of long term consequences of the previous social system, the Soviet system, rather than only focus on the immediate consequences of the transition period after 1991. This case study based on Estonian survey data will also contribute to the general understanding of the disease risks and social inequalities in health.