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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

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November 2005
O. Baron-Epel, A. Haviv, N. Garty, D. Tamir and M.S. Green
 Background: Increasing physical activity and thereby reducing a sedentary lifestyle can lower the risk of chronic diseases. Raising the population's involvement in physical activity is a major challenge for public health and healthcare services.

Objectives: To identify subpopulations with a sedentary lifestyle and low levels of adherence to physical activity recommendations.

Methods: The Israel Center for Disease Control performed two national surveys during 2002–2003, interviewing 7,307 Jewish Israelis and 1,826 Arab Israelis over age 21. Respondents were asked if they engaged in physical activity lasting at least 20 consecutive minutes, and if so how frequently: less than once a week, once or twice a week, nearly every day or every day.

Results: Arab respondents were less physically active than Jewish respondents after adjusting for gender, age, level of religiosity, marital status, education, self-reported health, smoking, body mass index, and type of survey. Multiple logistic regression analysis run separately for Jews and Arabs found a more sedentary lifestyle, in both groups, among women, the less educated, those who were married and those with poor subjective health. Among Jews, younger people, increased religiosity, smoking and high BMI[1] were associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Conclusions: The Jewish population is in need of more targeted and specific interventions for lower adhering subpopulations, such as women, the less educated and those with other risk factors. In the Arab population a more thorough understanding of the benefits of physical activity is needed; however, it seems that a general intervention is required to decrease the prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle all round.


 


[1] BMI = body mass index


March 2005
M.A. Abdul-Ghani, M. Sabbah, B. Muati, N. Dakwar, H. Kashkosh, O. Minuchin, P. Vardi, I. Raz, for the Israeli Diabetes Research Group
 Background: Increased insulin resistance, which is associated with obesity, is believed to underlie the development of metabolic syndrome. It is also known to increase the risk for the development of glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. Both conditions are recognized as causing a high rate of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and different glucose intolerance states in healthy, overweight Arab individuals attending a primary healthcare clinic in Israel.

Methods: We randomly recruited 95 subjects attending a primary healthcare clinic who were healthy, overweight (body mass index >27) and above the age of 40. Medical and family history was obtained and anthropometric parameters measured. Blood chemistry and oral glucose tolerance test were performed after overnight fasting.

Results: Twenty-seven percent of the subjects tested had undiagnosed type 2 diabetes according to WHO criteria, 42% had impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance and only 31% had a normal OGTT[1]. Metabolic syndrome was found in 48% according to criteria of the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program, with direct correlation of this condition with BMI[2] and insulin resistance calculated by homeostasis model assessment. Subjects with metabolic syndrome had a higher risk for abnormality in glucose metabolism, and the more metabolic syndrome components the subject had the higher was the risk for abnormal glucose metabolism. Metabolic syndrome predicted the result of OGTT with 0.67 sensitivity and 0.78 specificity. When combined with IFG[3], sensitivity was 0.83 and specificity 0.86 for predicting the OGTT result.

Conclusions: According to our initial evaluation approximately 70% of the overweight Arab population in Israel has either metabolic syndrome or abnormal glucose metabolism, indicating that they are at high risk to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This population is likely to benefit from an intervention program.

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[1] OGTT = oral glucose tolerance test

[2] BMI = body mass index

[3] IFG = impaired fasting glucose
 

July 2004
J. Tarabeia, Y. Amitai, M. Green, G.J. Halpern, S. Blau, A. Ifrah, N. Rotem and L. Jaber

Background: The infant mortality rate is a health status indicator.

Objectives: To analyze the differences in infant mortality rates between Jews and Arabs in Israel between 1975 and 2000.

Methods: Data were used from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Mother, Child and Adolescent Health in the Ministry of Health.

Results: The IMR[1] in 2000 was 8.6 per 1,000 live births in the Israeli Arab population as compared to 4.0 in the Jewish population. Between 1970 and 2000 the IMR decreased by 78% among Moslems, 82% among Druze, and 88% among Christians, as compared to 79% in the Jewish population. In 2000, in the Arab population, 40% of all infant deaths were caused by congenital malformations and 29% by prematurity, compared to 23% and 53%, respectively, in the Jewish population. Between 1970 and 2000 the rate of congenital malformations declined in both the Arab and Jewish populations. In the 1970s the rate was 1.4 times higher in the Arab community than in the Jewish community, and in 2000 it was 3.7 times higher.

Conclusion: As in the Jewish population, the IMR in the Arab community has decreased over the years, although it is still much higher than that in the Jewish community. Much remains to be done to reduce the incidence of congenital malformations among Arabs, since this is the main cause of the high IMR in this population.






[1] IMR = infant mortality rate


September 2002
George S. Habib, MD and Walid R. Saliba, MD

Background: The prevalence of clinical manifestations and laboratory parameters in systemic lupus erythematosus differ among various ethnic groups. Few studies have reported on SLE[1] in Arabs.

Objectives: To summarize the demographic, clinical and laboratory features of Arab SLE patients and to compare them with other series from different Arab countries.

Methods: We reviewed the charts of all Arab SLE patients who had been seen at the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, the Nazareth Hospital and the Holy Family Hospital in Nazareth, and a professional clinic (a referral outpatient clinic of the largest health maintenance organization in Israel) in Acre – all cities in northern Israel. Only patients with symptoms of more than one year were included. Demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters were documented and compared with those of four series from different Arab countries.

Results: The study group comprised 34 patients. The majority of the patients was Moslem; there were a few Druze and one Christian. There was no statistical difference between our patients and any of the other Arab series in terms of arthritis, neuropsychiatric manifestations and VDRL. The presence of serositis and mucocutaneous manifestations was significantly lower in our series compared to some of the other series. However, there was significantly less renal involvement in our patients compared to each of the other series.

Conclusions: The prevalence of most clinical and laboratory parameters in Israeli Arab SLE patients is comparable to that of other series of SLE patients from different Arab countries. The prevalence of renal involvement in Israeli Arab SLE patients seems to be lower than in SLE patients from different Arab countries.






[1] SLE = systemic lupus erythematosus


July 2001
Boaz Meijer, MD, David Branski, MD and Eitan Keren, MD

Background: Prevention of cigarette smoking is an important issue in public health policy. Since most adult smokers began smoking in childhood, understanding behavor­ial factors associated with smoking initiation would contribute to smoking initiation programs. Health-related behavior may vary between different ethnic groups.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of smoking among Jewish and Arab adolescents in Jerusalem, and whether there are differences in smoking initiation between the two ethnic groups.

Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional survey of all students in the 6th to 11th grades (age range 11-17 years) of a Jewish school and an Arab school in the Jerusalem area, using an anonymous self-completion questionnaire. A total of 791 questionnaires was analyzed, 479 from the Jewish students and 312 from the Arab students.

Results: The lowest prevalence of smoking was found among Arab female students and the highest among Jewish female students (9% vs. 41%, P<O.OO1). The prevalence of smoking among Jewish and Arab males was similar. More Arab female students smoked than their mothers. Peer pressure seemed to be a more important factor among Jewish students.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the presence of ethnic differences in smoking prevalence and the reasons for smoking among adolescents in Israel. These results suggest the need for specific smoking prevention policies for different ethnic groups.

August 2000
Tzipora C. Falik-Zaccai MD, Elena Shachak MSc, Devora Abeliovitch PhD, Israela Lerer MSc, Ruth Shefer MD, Rivka Carmi MD, Liat Ries MSc, Moshe Friedman MD, Mordechai Shohat MD and Zvi Borochowitz MD

Background: Achondroplasia is the most frequent form of disproportionate short stature, characterized by rhizomelic shortening of the limbs. This disorder is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, although most of the cases are sporadic, a result of a de novo mutation. A recurrent glycine to arginine mutation at codon 380 (G380R) in the transmembrane domain of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 gene was found to cause achondroplasia among different populations. This is most uncommon in other autosomal dominant genetic diseases.

Objectives: To determine whether this mutation is also common among Jewish patients from diverse ethnic groups and among the Arab population in Israel.

Methods: We examined the G380R mutation (G>A and G>C transition) and the mutation G375C (G>T transition at codon 375) in 31 sporadic patients and in one family diagnosed clinically to have achondroplasia.

Results: We found the G>A transition at codon 380 in 30 of our patients and the G>C transition in one patient. We were not able to detect any of the three mutations in two patients with an atypical form of achondroplasia.

Conclusions: Our results further support the unusual observation that nucleotide 1138 of the FGFR3 gene is the most mutable nucleotide discovered to date across different populations.

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FGFR3 = fibroblast growth factor receptor 3

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