Is communism a health hazard?
Living in a communist country is bad for your health, according to an international study by researchers from Britain, Germany and New Zealand, who looked at the UN Human Development Index scores.
These measure the per capita income, life expectancy and number of years citizens spend in education in 44 countries across Europe and Asia.
The study also showed how the negative effects linger long after communism has been abandoned.
They also compared religions, geography, systems of government and dominant language.
The most reliable predictor of a country’s health, they found, was whether it had once been communist.
In addition, communism was the second best predictor of poverty, after geography.
Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the researchers said the “residual effect” of communism was still apparent in lower life expectancies, poorer diets and greater alcohol consumption of former Eastern bloc countries.