Prevalence of metabolic syndrome among Roma: a comparative health examination survey in Hungary

Eur J Public Health. 2015 Apr;25(2):299-304. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cku157. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Objectives: The objective of our study was to compare the health status of the Roma people with that of the general population in Hungary.

Methods: A health examination survey to define the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components was performed in a representative random sample (n = 646) of the Roma population aged 20-64 years living in segregated colonies, and data were compared with that obtained in a representative random sample (n = 1819) of the Hungarian population.

Results: The risks for central obesity, hypertension and raised triglyceride level among Roma adults were not different from the Hungarian references, while raised fasting plasma glucose or known type 2 diabetes mellitus (OR = 2.65, 95%CI 1.90-3.69), reduced HDL cholesterol level or treated lipid disorder (OR = 2.15, 95%CI 1.65-2.79) were significantly more frequent in all age groups in the Roma sample. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome (OR = 1.37, 95%CI 1.03-1.83) was also significantly higher among Roma than in the general Hungarian population.

Conclusions: Besides tackling the socio-economic determinants of the poor health of Roma people, specific public health interventions considering increased genetic susceptibility to metabolic disturbances are needed to improve their health status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hungary / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Roma / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult