Health status of Roma women in Spain

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Background: The objective of the present study is to describe the health status of Roma women in Spain. Population-based health data have become available for this group, and we can now identify differences with non-Roma women. Methods: Cross-sectional, epidemiological study from the 2006 Spanish National Health Survey and the first National Health Survey in the Romany population (2006). We analyzed 527 Spanish Roma women aged 16 years and over and 1054 Spanish non-Roma women, age and region matched. Results: Our sample comprised 527 Spanish Roma women and 1054 Spanish non-Roma women. Roma women are more likely to suffer from obesity [odds ratio (OR) 1.91; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–3.50], depression and migraine. Roma women have significantly higher values for alcohol consumption than non-Roma women (OR, 3.77; 95% CI, 2.32–6.13). The percentage of Roma women, who have had a smear test and a mammography, is significantly lower than that of non-Roma women. Conclusions: Our comparison showed that Spanish Roma women have a poorer health profile, worse lifestyles and more inequality in the use of health-care resources than non-Roma women, especially with respect to prevention.

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