Published online Jan 14, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i2.143
Peer-review started: October 25, 2020
First decision: November 13, 2020
Revised: November 13, 2020
Accepted: November 29, 2020
Article in press: November 29, 2020
Published online: January 14, 2021
Roma people make up a significant ethnic minority in many European countries, with the vast majority living in Central and Eastern Europe. Roma are a vulnerable population group in social, economic, and political terms. Frequent migrations, life in segregated communities, substandard housing, poverty, and limited access to quality health care, including low immunization coverage, affect their health status and predispose them to various diseases, including viral hepatitis. Hepatitis A, B, and E are highly prevalent among Roma and mainly associated with low socioeconomic status. In contrast, hepatitis C does not seem to be more frequent in the Roma population. Enhanced efforts should be directed towards the implementation of screening programs, preventive measures, and treatment of viral hepatitis in Roma communities throughout Europe.
Core Tip: Roma people constitute the most important transnational minority in Europe. They are a vulnerable population group in social, economic, and political terms. Low socioeconomic conditions and lack of quality health care predispose them to viral hepatitis, especially hepatitis A, B, and E. In the global attempt to eliminate viral hepatitis, Roma should be considered a high priority group for screening and treatment based on the epidemiological and social context.