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Medicina is published by MDPI from Volume 54 Issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Lithuanian Medical Association, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and Vilnius University.
Open AccessArticle

Health of Roma children in Vilnius and Ventspils

1
Institute of Hygiene, Vilnius
2
Department of Children’s Diseases, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania
3
The National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2009, 45(2), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina45020020
Received: 19 December 2007 / Accepted: 5 February 2009 / Published: 10 February 2009
According to the literature data, Roma health and living conditions in Central and Eastern Europe are poorer than of the rest of population. However, the more detailed information about Roma health is lacking. The aim of the study was to evaluate morbidity, health self-assessment, and prevalence of addictions among Roma children in Vilnius and Ventspils and to compare with health indicators of non-Roma children. Participants and methods. A descriptive epidemiological study was carried out, anonymously questioning all volunteer Roma children – 59 in Vilnius (Lithuania) and 31 in Ventspils (Latvia) schools.
Results were compared with identical study, carried out in five Vilnius schools (reference group, 640). Results. The appliance rate of Roma children to doctor did not differ from reference group – half of all questioned children visited doctor 1–3 times during the last year. However, more Roma children (74.6% from Vilnius and 64.6% from Ventspils) considered their health as poor and very poor as compared to reference group (4.3%). The proportion of children indicating somatic symptoms often and very often did not differ statistically significantly among groups with exception of vomiting and nausea, which was most prevalent among Vilnius Roma and Ventspils Roma. The proportion of children indicating emotional symptoms often and very often differed significantly in all groups and was the biggest in Ventspils Roma group. The proportion of daily alcohol, drug users, and smokers was higher in Vilnius Roma and Ventspils Roma groups, although the differences among all three groups were not statistically significant.
Conclusion. Although the morbidity of Vilnius Roma and Ventspils Roma groups did not differ from reference group, essential discrepancy was found in health self-assessment – more Roma children considered their health as poor and very poor.
Keywords: Roma children; social conditions; risk factors; health self-assessment; addictions Roma children; social conditions; risk factors; health self-assessment; addictions
MDPI and ACS Style

Kanapeckienė, V.; Valintėlienė, R.; Beržanskytė, A.; Kėvalas, R.; Supranowicz, P. Health of Roma children in Vilnius and Ventspils. Medicina 2009, 45, 153.

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