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Research on the health status of Roma and other minority groups in Bulgaria

Research on the objective health status in the Roma quarters of the towns of Sofia, Vratsa and Targovishte. Using as a source of information personal medical documentation and a medical team evaluation, the research found out an ill person in about 80% of the visited Roma households. In one-third of the households, the number of persons with health problems is 3 or more, while in 7-8% of the households, 5 or more persons suffer from health problems.

In Sofia, the health status of 110 Roma households with totally 542 persons was studied (sample from the election lists) in the quarters “Fakulteta”, “Krasna Polyana”, “Tatarli – Konstantin Velichkov” and “Hristo Botev” (Abyssinia). The ailment from 85 different diseases was studied. The share of ailments with 1% or more frequency is as follows:

Arterial hypertension10,6
Pneumonia 6.7
Ischemic heart disease6.3
Pyelonephritis5.7
Disc herniation5.7
Nephrocalculosis 4.4
Viral hepatitis 4.1
Chronic bronchitis4.0
Bronchial asthma 3,3
Affective disorders 2.6
Myocardial infarction 2.4
Cerebral vascular disease 2.4
Duodenal ulcer 2.0
Heart malformations 1.8
Hyperthyroidism 1.7
Chronically-obstructive lung disease 1.7
Deformans arthrosis 1.7
Diabetes mellitus, insuline-independent1.7
Cardiac insufficiency1.5
Rheumatoid arthritis 1.3
Anemia1.3
Diabetes, insuline-dependent1.1
Obesity1.1
Cysts of the ovaries1.1
Eye diseases 1.1
Stomach ulcer1.0
Tubercolosis 1.0


In the town of Vratsa, 100 Roma families of 565 persons (also a sample from the election lists) were examined.

The ailment from 85 different diseases was studied. The share of ailments with 1% or more frequency is as follows:

Pneumonia 7.4
Arterial hypertension5.8
Viral hepatitis4.6
Discopathea 4.0
Pielonephrthis 3.2
Duedenom ulcers 3.0
Traumatism 2.7
Chronic bronchitis2.8
Nephrocalculosis 2.5
Bronchial asthma2.5
Valvular disease1.8
Tubercolosis 1.6
Cardiac failure1.4
Annemia 1.4
Oncological 1.2
Dermatological 1.2
Otho-rhyno-laryngological diseases1.2
Epilepsy 1.2
Stomach ulcers 1.2
Neurological 1.1
Deformans arthrosis 1.1
Cerebral insult1.0


In the town of Targovishte, 103 Roma households with 510 persons in “Malcho Malchev” quarter (also a sample from the election lists) were examined. The ailment from 85 different diseases was studied. The share of ailments with 1% or more frequency is as follows:

Notwithstanding that in each of the three towns there are certain specifics in the ailments, the high ailment rate from cardiac and lung diseases is noticeable as well as from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and viral hepatitis. It should be taken into consideration that the percentage of the ailments was calculated on the basis of all household members, half of whom are children. The percentage of some ailments characteristic for adult and elder part of the population such as hypertension , myocardic infarction, cerebral insult etc. would be considerably higher of children were excluded.

The data for high sickness rate of the Roma with oncological ailments in the town of Vratza is especially alarming.

These data definitely indicate the unfavourable tendencies in the Roma health status in several of the larger towns in Bulgaria.
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