Endocrine Abstracts (2009) 20 P421

Screening of the Romani population in Serbia for diabetes

Teodora Beljic Zivkovic1, Rodoljub Zivkovic2, Toma Ignjatovic2, Milica Marjanovic1, Ivan Soldatovic2, Stela Prgomelja2, Branka Koprivica3 & Dragoljub Ackovic4


1Divison of Endocrinology, Zvezdara University Medical Center, Belgrade, Serbia; 2Diabetes Association of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia; 3Special Hospital Stari Slankamen, Stari Slankamen, Serbia; 4Roma Community Centar «8 April», Belgrade, Serbia.


It is well known that Romani people suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence of diabetes in the Romani population in Serbia.

Methods: During the period October 2006–May 2008, diabetes association of Serbia performed blood glucose measurements in 11 urban and 8 rural Romani communities in Serbia. Blood glucose values, name, age, presence of diabetes, family history for diabetes, time of last meal and presence of obesity were noted.

Results: Statistical analysis was performed on 1465 Romani people (825 in urban and 641 in rural communities) with complete findings. Mean age of the Romani people investigated was 42.42±15.69 years. Obesity was present in 577 (39.4%) people. Some 87 of the 1465 Romani people (5.9%) already had diabetes. Blood glucose measurements discovered 76 (5.2%) new cases of diabetes type 2. Romani people with diabetes were significantly older (F=28.33; P<0.01). Family history for diabetes was positive in 1/3 of the Romani people. Risk for diabetes is 3.48 times higher if a Romani person has positive family history (OR 3.47; 95% confidence interval 2.37–5.1; P<0.01). Obesity was significantly more prevalent in Romani people with diabetes (X2=32.555; df=3; P<0.01). The risk of diabetes in an obese Romani person is 2 times higher than in the non-obese (OR 2.107, 95% confidence interval 1.249–3.554; P<0.01). Diabetes was significantly more present in urban communities (X2=25.205; df=2; P<0.01). The risk of developing diabetes is 3.649 times higher in Romani people that live in urban settlements (OR 3.649, 95% confidence interval 1.998–6.662; P<0.01).

Conclusion: Prevalense of diabetes in Romani people living in Serbia is possibly higher from the prevalence in the general population in Serbia. The risk factors for diabetes are middle age, family history, obesity and life in urban communities.

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