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Abstract

Introduction

Obesity is the most threatening non-infectious disease of our time, the basis of many chronic diseases, increasing the mortality rate. The Roma ethnic minority is particularly affected.

Materials and methods

Cross-sectional–questionnaire and physical–survey in rural settlements of Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, where Roma live with the non-Roma, Hungarian-speaking population (N = 1893).

Results

The average BMI of the Hungarian (P < 0.001) and Romanian (P = 0.018) samples was significantly higher than that of the Slovak sample. In the case of Roma and non-Roma subjects, we found a significant difference in Hungary (P = 0.006) based on body composition, as well as in the case of visceral fat (P < 0.001). The extremely obese (<40 BMI) are mostly low educated in Romania and Hungary (P < 0.001), while those in normal weight have a tertiary education in Slovakia (P = 0.027). Hungarian Roma and non-Roma participants show significant differences in the physical activity dimension of the SF-36 questionnaire (P < 0.001), as well as in Romania (P < 0.001) and Slovakia (P = 0.002).

Conclusions

In summary, it can be stated that rural Roma subjects in Hungary are in the worst situation in terms of obesity in the three countries studied. In our study, the results in Slovakia clearly suggest a healthier lifestyle.

Open access

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
Developments in Health Sciences
Authors:
HJ Feith
,
Á Lehotsky
,
Á Lukács
,
E Gradvohl
,
R Füzi
,
S Darvay Mészárosné
,
I Krekó Bihariné
,
ZS Karacs
,
ZS Kiss Soósné
, and
A Falus

Purpose

The authors intended to develop a novel procedure and research method that follows the effectiveness of the peer-educational approach in handwashing among school children.

Materials and methods

To ask the children about their sociodemographic background, health behaviour, hand hygiene knowledge, and health attitudes, and questionnaires were applied. The education on proper handwashing procedures was followed by a test with a mobile UV-light detection system (Semmelweis Scanner, http://www.handinscan.com/), and the scans were evaluated through an intrinsic computer software.

Results

Our newly developed questionnaire-based research method and the hand-rubbing technique followed by a test with a mobile UV-light detection system may become a reliable and valid scientific measurement of the effectiveness of hand hygiene training programmes.

Conclusions

The Hand-in-Scan technology and questionnaire-based research method provide proper tools for evaluating the successful peer education method. It can significantly elevate the level of children’s compliance, which leads to a better hygienic consciousness.

Open access