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Tomasz Michalski

Abstract

The aim of this study was to present the general situation of populations of European post-communist countries 25 years after the collapse of communism in Europe. The study consists of two parts. The first one briefly discusses the processes that led to a significant diversification in the social, economic and political situations of the populations of the studied countries. In the second part the diversity of this situation is shown (using: the Legatum Prosperity Index, the Social Progress Index, and the Human Development Index). It was found that the best situations exist in the countries which quickly and effectively implemented reforms, and whether they were independent states, or parts of larger states, under communism is of secondary importance. It is symptomatic that these are countries situated in the north-western part of the area under consideration, which corresponds to the current situation in the EU-15, where the countries located in the south (the so-called PIGS) have poor economic and partly social situations than those in the north. Furthermore, it was found that the situation with the population of Russia is worse than in many countries which were previously under the occupation of the USSR or were dependent on the authorities in Moscow.

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Tomasz Michalski

Abstract

The main aim of the study is to present the history and the state of research in Polish medical geography. Its origins are the same as in world geography, i.e. it is associated with non-geographers. However, it was developing very slowly till the mid-1980s. Since then a slow increase in the number of publications has been noted (with a noticeable predominance of studies in disease geography over health geography). But still, it must be emphasised that medical geography in Poland is poorly developed.

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Aleksander Kuczabski and Tomasz Michalski

Abstract

The post-communist transformation of Ukraine differs significantly from that of other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. First of all, Ukraine’s transition from totalitarianism to democracy has been long and still remains uncompleted. The process of the democratic transformation in Ukraine is non-linear and can be described by frequent changes in transformation phases. The ultimate result of the country’s transformation determines to a considerable extent the geopolitical stability in entire Central and Eastern Europe.

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Yevhen Matviyishyn and Tomasz Michalski

Abstract

While people of many nationalities live in Ukraine, Ukrainians and Russians constitute the majority of its population. Territorially, the Ukrainian language is spread unevenly, which results in pronounced bilingualism and language bipolarity. The influence of the Soviet policy of the Russian language dominance is still present in Ukraine. Ukrainian prevails in the sphere of public administration and education. Russian dominates in most mass media. Under such circumstances it is important to maintain conditions for the preservation of the language identity of other ethnic minorities, which would promote the development of linguistic diversity in Ukraine.

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Aleksander Kuczabski and Tomasz Michalski

Abstract

This study gives an analysis of the diversification of the demographic situation in the rural areas of Ukraine in the years 1992-2011 in a regional depiction (it corresponds to the NUTS 2 division applied in the European Union). The demographic situation of the rural population is undergoing increasingly distinct deterioration. It is the worst in central Ukraine and relatively the best in its western part. This is an effect of political, economic and social processes initiated in today’s Ukraine after World War One. It overlaps with negative effects of the processes of political transformation taking place in already independent Ukraine. The chances of improving the demographic situation in rural areas are rather slim and depend on two factors: (1) a fundamental change in the state policy towards the Ukrainian countryside and (2) overcoming a prolonged socio-economic crisis.

Open access

Tomasz Podgórski, Jakub Kryściak, Jan Konarski, Katarzyna Domaszewska, Krzysztof Durkalec-Michalski, Ryszard Strzelczyk and Maciej Pawlak

Abstract

Post-physical training changes in iron metabolism in the human body often occur. To fully describe these processes, fifteen male Polish National Team field hockey players (age 27.7 ± 5.2 years, body mass 72.8 ± 7.6 kg and body height 177.1 ± 5.7 cm) were examined in three phases of an annual training cycle: preparatory (T1), competitive (T2) and transition (T3). To assess aerobic fitness, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) was evaluated. Based on the iron concentration, the changes in total iron binding capacity (TIBC), unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC) and other selected haematological indicators (haemoglobin, erythrocytes, mean corpuscular haemoglobin - MCH) in iron metabolism were estimated. The average values of maximum oxygen uptake increased from 54.97 ± 3.62 ml·kg−1·min−1 in T1 to 59.93 ± 3.55 ml·kg−1·min−1 in T2 (p<0.05) and then decreased to 56.21 ± 4.56 ml·kg−1·min−1 in T3 (p<0.05). No statistically significant changes in the erythrocyte count were noted. The MCH and haemoglobin concentration decreased between T1 and T2. The maximal exercise test caused a significant (p<0.05) increase in the plasma iron concentration during the competition and transition phases. Progressive but non-significant increases in resting iron concentration, TIBC and UIBC in the analysed annual training cycle were noted. To show global changes in iron metabolism in the human body, it is necessary to determine additional variables, i.e. UIBC, TIBC, haemoglobin, MCH or the erythrocyte count. The direction of changes in iron metabolism depends on both the duration and intensity of the physical activity and the fitness level of the subjects. Dietary intake of iron increases the level of this trace element and prevents anaemia associated with training overloads.