Body structural and cellular aging of women with low socioeconomic status in Hungary: A pilot study.
OBJECTIVES: The health status of an individual is determined not only by their genetic background but also by their physical environment, social environment and access and use of the health care system. The Roma are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Hungary. The majority of the Roma population live in poor conditions in segregated settlements in Hungary, with most experiencing higher exposure to environmental health hazards. The main aim of this study was to examine the biological health and aging status of Roma women living in low socioeconomic conditions in Hungary. METHODS: Low SES Roma (n: 20) and high SES non-Roma women (n: 30) aged between 35 and 65 years were enrolled to the present analysis. Body mass components were estimated by body impedance analysis, bone structure was estimated by quantitative ultrasound technique. Cellular aging was assessed by X chromosome loss estimation. Data on health status, lifestyle and socioeconomic factors were collected by questionnaires. RESULTS: The results revealed that low SES women are prone to be more obese, have a higher amount of abdominal body fat, and have worse bone structure than the national reference values. A positive relationship was found between aging and the rate of X chromosome loss was detected only in women with low SES. Waist to hip ratio, existence of cardiovascular diseases and the number of gravidities were predictors of the rate of X chromosome loss in women. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggested that age-adjusted rate of X chromosome loss could be related to the socioeconomic status.