We analyzed vision and hearing health status in the Spanish Roma population compared with the general population and its influence on mental health and social participation. We conducted a Cross-sectional study on Roma population (n = 1.167) compared to general population in Spain (n = 21.007). We analyzed the use of optical and hearing aids, vision and hearing limitations and associations with mental health, diagnosed depression and social participation; through prevalence, odds ratio adjusted by age (AOR), Chi square independence test and contrast of proportions (p < 0.05). The Roma population are more likely to present vision limitations-far sight AOR = 3.76 (3.13-4.55), near sight AOR = 3.18 (2.33-4.35)-, hearing difficulties-AOR = 1.41 (1.15-1.72)-, and lower use of corrective aids than the general population. These findings were associated with poor mental health and lower social participation (p < 0.01). Vision and hearing limitations affect unequally in Spain. Addressing avoidable vision and hearing impairment among Roma population is needed to reduce health inequities.
Keywords: Ethnicity; Health inequities; Roma population; Vision and hearing impairment.