Country Listing

Turkmenistan Table of Contents


Health Conditions

According to health statistics, life expectancy in Turkmenistan (62.9 for males, 69.7 for females) is the lowest in the CIS. The relatively high rate of natural population growth (2.0 percent per year), is based on a birth rate of 29.9 per 1,000 persons and a death rate of 7.3 per 1,000 persons. In 1992 cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death, followed by cancer, respiratory disease, and accidents (see table 5, Appendix). Poor diet, polluted drinking water, and industrial wastes and pesticides cause or exacerbate many medical problems, which are especially acute in the northeastern areas of the country near the Amu Darya and Aral Sea. Women in their child-bearing years and children appear to be in the poorest health and the most susceptible to disease and sickness. Of CIS countries, in 1991 Turkmenistan ranked first in infant mortality rate, with forty-seven deaths per 1,000 live births, and very high on maternal death rate, with fifty-five deaths per 100,000 births. Some specialists attribute high infant mortality to factors of diet and health care while others relate it to poor hygienic practices and lack of family planning.

Data as of March 1996