Comparative study of mortality trends in France and the Czech Republic since 1950

By Jacques Vallin, Jitka Rychtaříková, France Meslé

In 1950, expectation of life in Czechoslovakia was one and a half years lower than in France (64.6 and 66.3 years respectively). Thirty years later, the difference had tripled and now amounts to more than four years (71 and 75.3 years respectively).
Jitka Rychtaříková[**], Jacques Vallin[***] and France Meslé[***] have carried out a detailed comparative study of mortality trends in the two countries (by sex, age and cause of death) to investigate the reasons behind this unusual disparity.
Beyond the specific case of France and Czechoslovakia, they consider the problem of mortality differences between Eastern and Western Europe at a time when in the Soviet Union, in a context of "glasnost" and "perestroïka", new figures have been published [****] and attempts have been made (for instance by regulating the sale of vodka) to modify this negative trend.

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