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Abstract

Obesity and other unhealthy behaviors are behind cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, with the Roma population particularly at risk. The aim of our cross-sectional (questionnaire- and physical measurements-based) study was to compare the prevalence of obesity in Hungarian, Romanian, and Slovakian Hungarian-speaking Roma and non-Roma (N = 1893) in relation to lifestyle-related risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). In the total sample, the proportion of extreme obesity was higher in Roma (P < 0.001) than non-Roma. The mean waist circumference was the highest in Hungary (P < 0.001). Visceral fat was higher in the Hungarian Roma sample than in the Slovak (P = 0.006) or Romanian Roma samples (P = 0.005). Hungarian Roma total cholesterol levels were lower than in the Slovak (P < 0.001) or Romanian samples (P < 0.001). Hypertension and cholesterol levels were associated with a higher risk among non-Roma men (P < 0.001), and the presence of smoking increased CVD risk among both men (P = 0.024) and women (P < 0.001) in the Roma minority. The combined presence of several risk factors was found mainly in Roma. Overall, Roma scores were found to be worse, but ethnicity did not provide clear evidence for the questions examined, but rather the level of education, which is associated with socioeconomic status.

Open access
Developments in Health Sciences
Authors:
ZS. Molnár
,
L. Varga
,
G. Gyenes
,
Á. Lehotsky
,
E. Gradvohl
,
Á.J. Lukács
,
R.A. Füzi
,
A. Gézsi
,
A. Falus
, and
H.J. Feith

Abstract

Purpose

Proper handwashing helps prevent the spread of communicable diseases. The aim of our study was to analyse and compare children's knowledge and skills in hand hygiene before and after school interventions in order to evaluate the effectiveness of our peer education programme.

Materials/methods

In our longitudinal study, short- and long-term changes in the knowledge, hand-washing skills and health behaviour of 224 lower, upper and secondary school students were assessed. Our measurements were performed with a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire and the Semmelweis Scanner.

Results

As a result of the intervention, the proportion of correct answers increased significantly both in the short term and in the long run compared to the input measurements, but age differences did not disappear for most variables. There is a difference in the process of learning theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Areas not used for handwashing in the paediatric population are different from those described for adults in the literature. There was no significant difference between the mean scores of the right and left hands.

Conclusions

There was a significant positive change in both theory and practice of handwashing. In education, emphasis should also be put on long-term retention of theoretical knowledge in age-specific health promotion programmes within the paediatric population.

Open access