Assessment of cardiovascular risk factors in a Roma community from Southwestern France
Abstract Objectives Roma from Central‐Eastern Europe experience a reduced life expectancy in comparison with the general population. Predisposing cardiovascular risk factors could be the underlying reason for this. Here for the first time epidemiologic data on the distribution of cardiovascular risk factors in a subgroup of French Roma has been presented. Methods A descriptive epidemiological field survey was conducted in the Manouche community of Pau, Southwestern France. Fifty participants were included (17 men and 33 women) all living in caravans. A questionnaire to ask for demographic and health information was used, and biometric measurements were took in order to assess cardiovascular risk factors. Results Our sample included 18% diabetics, 32% people suffering from hypertension, 28% subjects with hypercholesterolemia, and 34% smokers. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was, respectively, 40% and 38% and that of abdominal obesity 64%. These frequencies were about twice those found in the general French population. Conclusion Although our sample was of limited size, our data suggest that French Manouches express a high‐risk profile regarding cardiovascular disease, as has been reported for Roma from various countries. Both intrinsic and environmental factors may explain this.
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