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From Knowledge to Action
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The background for the project was the risk factor surveys conducted in North Karelia and the district of Pitkäranta, which indicated a profound health gap between Finland and Russia. Such central health-related behavioural issues as smoking, excessive alcohol and diet were found to be factors behind high premature mortality. The purpose of the project was to promote the health of the population and decrease the health gap by preventing chronic illnesses and reducing premature mortality.

Main activities

• to develop monitoring systems for improving health and producing information that can influence people's behaviour in health issues, and thus the health of the population, and by influencing the programmes about health policies, which diminish the health differences in population groups.


The project collected information about the health of the population to support the actions of health policies and develop a health monitoring system. The project conducted a health survey of the population of the district of Pitkäranta as a Finnish-Russian cooperation, which examined the appearance of risk factors of the most common chronic illnesses, such as cardio-vascular diseases, cancer and diabetes in the population. The intention was that the research would help in the improvement of health and basic health care in the Republic of Karelia, in connection with the planning of health and social policies. The final analyses of the research results was still underway at the end of the project. A similar study was carried out in North Karelia: its results were communicated in a media conference in December 2007. The health research results of Pitkäranta and North Karelia will be compared with each other. The project also analysed the data of previous health surveys in Pitkäranta between 1992-2002. The results of the analyses had prompted the creation of the publication ”Pitkärannan kroonisten kansantautien riskitekijät, niihin liittyvät elintavat, oireet, psykososiaaliset tekijät ja terveyspalveluiden käyttö vuosina 1992, 1997, 2002 ja 2007” (The Risk Factors of Chronic Common Illnesses in Pitkäranta, the Related Lifestyle, Symptoms, Psycho-Social Factors and Use of Health Services in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007), which was completed in spring 2008. The publication also included a report on the mortality vs. mortality caused by illness in the district of Pitkäranta between 2002-2005. The publication was forwarded to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of the Republic of Karelia, the Central Hospital of the Pitkäranta District and the local surgeries. The implementation of the health research of Pitkäranta was presented as one example of the monitoring systems of health in a conference organised by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the St. Petersburg Administration of Health and Social Affairs. The project's operator network was intensified by participating in seminars and trainings and communicating the research results. The results of the project and those of the previous projects are also of international interest, since they surveyed the risk factors of common chronic illnesses and their connection to lifestyles and living conditions over a longer term.

Basic information