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Decreasing the Health Gap
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

There is a large gap in the health of the populations of North Karelia and the Republic of Karelia. Prior to this project, there had already been plenty of research material related to this subject, but it had not been sufficiently analysed so far. The purpose of the project was to analyse the collected research material and to report the results in scientific articles, optimise the use of the research material related to differences in health in North Karelia and the Republic of Karelia as background material for action programmes, and to inform the public about the underlying factors in the inequalities in health.

Main activities

• to analyse the collected research material • to influence the decision-makers in order to decrease the differences in health in the province of North Karelia and the area of the Republic of Karelia • to develop recommendations for required actions in the Republic of Kareliawhich would be connected to and support the Terveet Elämäntavat (Healthy Lifestyles) programme, which was piloted in the district of Pitkäranta.


The project produced a scientific article called ”Pitkärannan piirin aikuisväestön sydän- ja verisuonisairauksien riskitekijämuutokset vuonna 1992–2002” (The Changes in the Cardio-Vascular Disease Risk Factors in the Adult Population of the Pitkäranta District between 1992-2002), an extensive report called ”Sosioekonomisten tekijöiden yhteys riskitekijöihin Pitkärannan piirin 25–64 -vuotiaassa väestössä” (The Connection of Socio-Economic Factors to Risk Factors in the Population Aged 25-64 of Pitkäranta) and two reports: ”Naisten lisääntymisterveys Pitkärannan piirin 25–64 -vuotiaalla naisväestöllä vuosina 1992–2002” (Women's Reproductive Health in the Female Population Aged 25-64 of Pitkäranta between 1992-2002) and ”Kroonisten riskitekijöiden yhteys kuolleisuuteen Pitkärannan piirin vuosien 1992, 1997 ja 2002 tutkimuskohteissa” (The Link Between Chronic Risk Factors and Mortality Rate in Research Objects in the Pitkäranta District in 1992, 1997 and 2002). The communication about health differences and factors underlying the inequality in health effectively and successfully exploited the available research material of the Pitkäranta and Aunus districts. The project used various newspapers and magazines, the radio and TV and posters and brochures in communication. Additionally, the project organised various events, where decreasing the health differences was presented as an essential theme in Joensuu, Polvijärvi, Petrozavodsk and Pitkäranta. The project also participated in health seminars organised by various other parties. Observing health differences and the related factors succeeded well in municipal, regional-municipal and provincial strategies and policies (well-being policies, regional health improvement plans and a provincial programme) and in the Terveet elämäntavat (Healthy Lifestyles) programme in the Republic of Karelia; decreasing the health differences was observed in the strategy and action plan for the year 2007 at the centre of the North Karelia National Institute of Health, the strategic focal points of the Department of Social and Health Care of the State Provincial Office of East Finland and in the provincial programme of North Karelia for the years 2007-2010 (POKAT 2010). The project produces wide-ranging information regarding health differences and the related factors. This can be utilised both nationally and internationally.

Basic information