Compared to the large body of research on mortality differentials between East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, little attention has been paid to how overall population health status differs between these two country groups. This article investigates disparities in population health, measured by healthy life expectancy (HLE) between ages 20 and 74, for 23 Eastern European countries in 2008. There are substantial disparities in partial HLE between East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, amounting to differences of 10 years on average for men and women. In addition, factors reflecting the malfunction of existing social structure are inversely associated with partial HLE. Accordingly, populations in countries where corruption, restriction of freedom, and violence are prevalent spend fewer years in good health.
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