Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Roma Children Seem to Run More Risk than Non-Roma

Simona Drobnakova*, Andrea Madarasova Geckova, Veronika Vargova, Ingrid Schusterova, Jaroslav Rosenberger, Daniel Klein, Jitse P. van Dijk, Sijmen A. Reijneveld

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Ethnic information regarding juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) exists for various populations across the world but is fully lacking for Roma. We assessed the occurrence and clinical characteristics of JIA in Roma vs. non-Roma children. Methods: We obtained data on all outpatients (n = 142) from a paediatric rheumatology centre (age 3 to 18 years) in the eastern part of Slovakia (Kosice region). We assessed patients' age, gender, disease type and related extra-articular conditions by ethnicity. We obtained population data from the 2011 census. Results: The share of Roma children was higher in the clinical JIA sample than in the overall population (24.6%, n = 35, Roma in the sample vs. 10.8%, n = 142, Roma in the population, p <0.05). Moreover, Roma children had been diagnosed more frequently with extra-articular conditions but did not differ in other symptoms. Treatments also did not differ by ethnicity. Conclusion: Roma children had been diagnosed more with JIA than their non-Roma peers. This calls for further research on the causes of this increased disease burden in Roma children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2377
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2020


  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Roma
  • ethnicity
  • Slovakia

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