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Bulgaria and the other new eu member states: trends in the health status after twenty years of transition

Stefka Koeva


This paper analyzes the trends in the basic indicators of population`s health status in the twenty years of post socialist transition of Bulgaria. The processes and tendencies in this country are placed in the broader context of the developments in the other post-socialist countries, particularly, the new EU member states. Thus the ap- proach adopted in the paper is the comparative one. Although the whole period is under consideration, em- phasis is placed on the last 5-10 years. After stagnant or even decreasing life expectancy at birth in the 1990s, this indicator has been showing a positive trend throughout the last decade. Even though the numbers are comparable to the values in some other EU12 countries, they are still one of the lowest among all EU Member States. Although the last few years have seen a slight decrease in overall mortality rates, mortality in Bulgaria is still substantially higher than in any other EU country. Whilst the cardiovascular mortality has decreased in the last decade, it is still the highest in the European Union and several times higher than the EU average. Child mortality (both infant and under-five) has been decreasing, but Bulgaria still lags behind the EU aver- age and even the average of the EU12. Perinatal mortality rate is twice as high as the respective values for the EU-12. The positive tendencies in population health status, as subtle and fragmented as they seem to be, are mainly attributable to the stabilization of the political situation in the country starting from 2000-2001, and especially to the economic upsurge in the mid-2000s.


health status; life expectancy; mortality; cardiovascular mortality; child mortality

Full Text


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About The Author

Stefka Koeva
Varna University of Medicine

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