The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Soviet led Communist Bloc was the most important historical event of the last twenty years. It was also one of the most surprising. The jarring nature of this transition has resulted in large fluctuations in household resources and increased uncertainty in all facets of life.\n\nMuch academic research and popular writing has explored the economic and political ramifications of bringing these countries into mainstream capitalist society. This paper provides a review of the literature examining health outcomes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during this transition period. The limited research, which has studied the human face of transition, spans multiple disciplines and thus it is currently difficult for interested researchers to get a complete picture of the basic facts, as well as, the more detailed nuances, concerning possible changes that have occurred. This paper highlights what we currently know about health outcomes in transition countries and what we do not know, and suggests future areas of research which may help fill important gaps in our knowledge.