Incidence of infectious diseases and survival among the Roma population: A longitudinal cohort study

Martí Casals, Pilar Pila, Klaus Langohr, Juan Pablo Millet, Joan A. Caylà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Roma ethnicity is greatly affected by tuberculosis (TB), AIDS, injecting drugs use (IDU) and imprisonment. Methods: We assessed the incidence of several health problems by means of a retrospective cohort study performed in Camp de la Bota, Barcelona (Spain). The 380 individuals included in the 1985 TB outbreak investigation were followed-up until 31 December 2008. One hundred ninety-two subjects (50.5%) were men and 188 (49.5%) women. Information sources included questionnaires taken at the time of this outbreak, a population census and other registries from Barcelona and Catalonia. Cox proportional hazards mixed models were employed in the multivariate survival analysis. Results: By the end of the follow-up, the survival rate was 79.4%; 50 persons (13.1%) had deceased and 28 (7.3%) had emigrated. The incidence of AIDS was 104 cases per 100 000 person-years of follow-up (pyf), IDU was 240 cases pyf, imprisonment was 642 cases pyf and that of TB was 91 cases pyf. Male survival was lower [hazard ratio (HR) 4.22], when the effect of family was taken into account, than when it was not taken into account (HR 3.67). Conclusions: High incidences of AIDS, TB, IDU, imprisonment and poor survival rates have been observed among Roma. Family was found to be an important factor influencing the survival rates: when not considered, the risk of death among men was underestimated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-266
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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