Press release 26 April 2011

Russians evidently overestimate their state of health as good and fair


The results of AIPM research show an insufficient level of diagnosis and low awareness of their personal health  

April 26, 2011, Moscow –Today The Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AIPM) and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) presented the survey entitled Population Attitude to Personal Health: Perception of Health, Understanding of Risk Factors, Morbidity and Mortality, conducted in Russia from January, 2011 to April, 2011. The findings show most Russians are not in possession of the all the facts about their health and routinely put themselves at risk due to smoking, abuse of alcohol, obesity and lack of physical exercise.
According to AIPM data, about 95% of Russians think that they have a good or fair health, while only 44% of them had visited a physician last year. This could be one of the main reasons why diagnosis of chronic illnesses known as non‐communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disorders is still low. Thus cardiovascular diseases’ prevalence is about 13,1% in Russia, while awareness is only 7,5%, and for cancer prevalence is 1,8% and awareness is only 0,3%.
“Heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory disease together are responsible for 80% of all deaths In Russia”, – said Mr. Vladimir Shipkov, Executive Director, AIPM. – “There is a significant gap between what people think is their state of health and the negative impact of their actual behavior. This makes NCDs a high risk factor for Russians.”
The same survey confirmed that most Russians know about link between risk factors (such as smoking, harmful drinking, unhealthy diet and low physical activities) and the incidence of NCD’s. However the respondents perceive them as a part of their regular lifestyle – in day‐to‐day life of 82% of respondents, one to three key risk factors feature. Only 9% of Russian people could say that they have no risk factors. The major influence in changing the behavior could be a physician – more than 50% of respondents are ready to give up risk factors in case his/her personal recommendation of a potential threat of disease.
“This study is very important in terms of preventing NCDs from spreading further, because the fight against non‐communicable diseases starts on a personal level. Half of deaths and disability cases, caused by NCDs, can be prevented. It therefore makes sense to put considerable efforts into prevention programs” – Mario Ottiglio, Associate Director Public Affairs & Global Health Policy of the IFPMA commented. “The benefits reaped would not limit themselves to improved health for individuals and avoiding the suffering that often accompanies NCDs. There would also be relief from the mounting pressure on health care systems and the economic burden of such diseases on society as a whole” Mr. Ottiglio added.
Meanwhile the results of the study show that despite governmental efforts to discourage risk factors the NCD’s level is still high. This demonstrates the need to develop and implement new policies and programs to deal effectively with NCD risk factors. “This week’s High Level Forum and Ministerial Conference in Moscow is a timely and important meeting in terms of linking efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO), the governments, NGOs and professional associations, private sectors and other stakeholders”, Mr. Shipkov concluded.


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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Elliot Dunster