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עמוד בית
Mon, 26.02.24

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November 2023
Ibrahim Zvidi MD, Ram Dickman MD, Doron Boltin MBBS

Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) prevalence varies according to both geographical region and ethnicity. The interplay between these two factors has been poorly studied.

Objectives: To determine the positivity rate of H. pylori infection among Jewish and Arab patients who live in a mixed urban center in Israel.

Methods: Between November 2009 and September 2014, dyspeptic patients referred to a gastroenterology clinic in Lod, Israel, were enrolled in a prospective study. For each patient, clinical and epidemiological data were collected and a noninvasive or endoscopy-based test for H. pylori was performed.

Results: A total of 429 consecutive patients (322 Jewish and 107 Arabs), mean age 45 years (range 15–91 years) were included; 130 males. Overall positivity for H. pylori was 42.4% (182/429). The positivity rate of H. pylori was 38.8% for Jews (125/322) and 53.2% for Arabs (57/107) in Lod (P < 0.01). When immigrants were excluded, the difference in H. pylori positivity did not reach statistical significance (45.0% [77/171] vs. 53.2% [57/107], P = 0.217, in Jews and Arabs, respectively).

Conclusions: H. pylori infection was more common in Arabs that Jews in the mixed city of Lod, Israel. This finding may suggest that non-environmental factors were responsible for the observed difference in H. pylori positivity.

June 2023
Majdi Halabi MD, Hagar Drimer-Shabtai MD, Inna Rosenfeld MD, Adi Sharabi-Nov MA MPH, Mussa Saad MD, Ibrahim Marai MD, Ziad Abuiznait MD, Ayelet Armon-Omer PhD, Zippi Regev-Avraham PhD, Zeev Israeli MD

Background: Implantable loop recorders (ILRs) are a central tool in the evaluation of unexplained syncope. These devices record and store electrocardiograms, both automatically and on patient-dependent activation. Therefore, obtaining optimal diagnostic results relies on a patient's comprehension and collaboration.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of ethnic background and mother-tongue language on the diagnostic yield (DY) of ILRs.

Methods: Patients at two medical centers in Israel, who had ILRs as part of syncope workup were included. Inclusion criteria were age over 18 years and an ILR for at least one year (or less if the cause of syncope was detected). Patient demographics, ethnic background, and previous medical history were recorded. All findings from ILR recordings, activation mode (manual vs. automatic), and treatment decisions (none, ablation, device implantation) were collected.

Results: The study comprised 94 patients, 62 Jews (i.e., ethnic majority) and 32 non-Jews (i.e., ethnic minority). While baseline demographic characteristics, medical history, and drug therapy were similar in both groups, Jewish patients were significantly older at the time of device implantation: 64.3 ± 16.0 years of age vs. 50.6 ± 16.9, respectively; (P < 0.001). Arrhythmias recorded in both groups as well as treatment decisions and device activation mode were similar. Total follow-up time from device implantation was longer in the non-Jewish vs. the Jewish group (17.5 ± 12.2 vs. 24.0 ± 12.4 months, respectively; P < 0.017).

Conclusions: The DY of ILR implanted for unexplained syncope did not seem to be influenced by patient's mother-tongue language or ethnicity.

March 2023
Yehudit Nahum, Iftach Sagy, Yarden Cohen, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, Yair Molad

Background: Epidemiological studies have shown a connection between ethnic origin and the incidence and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Objective: To evaluate the SLE outcomes among Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients who were diagnosed with SLE and followed in lupus clinics at two large tertiary medical centers. The data were obtained from patient medical records. Patients were stratified into three ethnic origins: Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs. The primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, development of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) 2K ≤ 4 at last visit.

Results: We included 570 patients in this study. The Arab group showed the highest number of SLE classification criteria at diagnosis and last encounters compared to non-Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi Jewish groups (6.0 vs. 5.0 and 4.0, respectively at diagnosis, P < 0.001; 8.0 vs. 7.0 and 6.0 at last visit, P = 0.01). In multivariate models, Arab patients had three times higher risk of all-cause mortality than Ashkenazi Jews (hazard ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.32–6.76, P = 0.009). ESKD was similar among the study groups. Low disease activity (SLEDAI 2K ≤ 4) at last visit was lower in the Arab group than the Ashkenazi Jews (odds ratio 0.50, 95%CI 0.28–0.87, P = 0.016), depicting a medium-to-high disease activity among the former.

Conclusions: Physicians should consider the influence of the ethnicity of the SLE patient when deciding on their care plan.

December 2021
Ido Veisman MD, Doron Yablecovitch MD, Uri Kopylov MD, Rami Eliakim MD, Shomron Ben-Horin MD, and Bella Ungar MD

Background: Up to 60% of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients treated with infliximab develop antibodies to infliximab (ATI), which are associated with low drug levels and loss of response (LOR). Hence, mapping out predictors of immunogenicity toward infliximab is essential for tailoring patient-specific therapy. Jewish Sephardi ethnicity, in addition to monotherapy, has been previously identified as a potential risk factor for ATI formation and infliximab failure.

Objectives: To explore the association between Jewish sub-group ethnicity among patients with IBD and the risk of infliximab immunogenicity and therapy failure. To confirm findings of a previous cohort that addressed the same question.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included all infliximab-treated patients of Jewish ethnicity with regular prospective measurements of infliximab trough levels and ATI. Drug and ATI levels were prospectively measured, clinical data was retrieved from medical charts.

Results: The study comprised 109 Jewish patients (54 Ashkenazi, 55 Sephardi) treated with infliximab. There was no statistically significant difference in proportion of ATI between Sephardi and Ashkenazi patients with IBD (32% Ashkenazi and 33% Sephardi patients developed ATI, odds ratio [OR] 0.944, P = 0.9). Of all variables explored, monotherapy and older age were the only factors associated with ATI formation (OR 0.336, 95% confidence interval 0.145–0.778, P = 0.01, median 34 vs. 28, interquartile range 28–48, 23–35 years, P = 0.02, respectively).

Conclusions: Contrary to previous findings, Sephardi Jewish ethnicity was not identified as a risk factor for ATI formation compared with Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity. Other risk factors remained unchanged.

December 2020
Jair Bar MD PhD, Marina Perelman MD, Damien Urban MD, Maya Gottfried MD, Mor Moskovitz MD, Hovav Nechushtan MD PhD, Julia Dudnik MD, Alona Zer MD, Elizabeth Dudnik MD, Ofer Merimsky MD, Amir Onn MD, Barbara Silverman MD

Background: Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death.

Objectives: To identify changing patterns of lung cancer and its histologic subtypes among different population groups in Israel over a 25 year period.

Methods: Primary lung cancers, all types and all stages, diagnosed during 1990–2014 were recorded in the Israel National Cancer Registry database. Demographic information was retrieved from the National Population Register. Age-standardized rates for the different subgroups were calculated for each year. Joinpoint software was used to analyze trends in incidence.

Results: We identified 42,672 lung cancer cases. The most common histology was adenocarcinoma (34%), followed by squamous cell carcinoma (19%), large cell/not-otherwise-specified (19%), other histologies (15%), and small cell lung cancer (11%). The adenocarcinoma incidence rose from 25.7% to 48.2% during the examined period. Large cell/not-otherwise-specified incidence peaked around 2005–2006 and declined after. Lung cancer incidence increased significantly for the population overall and specifically in Arab females, followed by Jewish females and by Arab males. Adenocarcinoma and small cell lung cancer increased in Jewish females and in Arab males. A younger age of diagnosis was seen in Arab compared to Jewish patients.

Conclusions: Jewish females and Arab males and females living in Israel demonstrated a constant increase in lung cancer incidence, mostly in adenocarcinoma and small cell lung cancer incidence. In addition, a younger age of diagnosis in Arabs was noted. Smoking reduction interventions and screening should be implemented in those populations.

May 2020
Ygal Plakht RN PhD, Harel Gilutz MD, Jonathan Eli Arbelle MD, Dan Greenberg PhD and Arthur Shiyovich MD

Background: Survivors of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are at increased risk for recurrent cardiac events and tend to use excessive healthcare services, thus resulting in increased costs.

Objectives: To evaluate the disparities in healthcare resource utilization and costs throughout a decade following a non-fatal AMI according to sex and ethnicity groups in Israel.

Methods: A retrospective study included AMI patients hospitalized at Soroka University Medical Center during 2002–2012. Data were obtained from electronic medical records. Post-AMI annual length of hospital stay (LOS); number of visits to the emergency department (ED), primary care facilities, and outpatient consulting clinics; and costs were evaluated and compared according sex and ethnicity groups.

Results: A total of 7685 patients (mean age 65.3 ± 13.6 years) were analyzed: 56.8% Jewish males (JM), 26.6% Jewish females (JF), 12.4% Bedouin males (BM), and 4.2% Bedouin females (BF). During the up-to 10-years follow-up (median 5.8 years), adjusted odds ratios [AdjOR] for utilizations of hospital-associated services were highest among BF (1.628 for LOS; 1.629 for ED visits), whereas AdjOR for utilization of community services was lowest in BF (0.722 for primary clinic, 0.782 for ambulatory, and 0.827 for consultant visits), compared with JM. The total cost of BF was highest among the study groups (AdjOR = 1.589, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Long-term use of hospital-associated healthcare services and total costs were higher among Bedouins (especially BF), whereas utilization of ambulatory services was lower in these groups. Culturally and economically sensitive programs optimizing healthcare resources utilization and costs is warranted.

June 2019
Hagar Interator MSx RD, Avivit Brener MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Inbar Safra MD, Ran Balicer MD PhD MPH, Moshe Leshno MD PhD, Raanan Shamir MD and Yael Lebenthal MD

Background: In Israel, coronary heart disease mortality rates are significantly higher among the Arab population than the Jewish population. Dyslipidemia prevention should begin in childhood.

Objectives: To identify sociodemographic disparities in the preventive health measurement of lipid profile testing and lipoprotein levels among Israeli children and adolescents.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 1.2 million children and adolescents insured by Clalit Health Services between 2007 and 2011 was conducted using sociodemographic data and serum lipid concentrations.

Results: Overall, 10.1% individuals had undergone lipid testing. Those with male sex (odds ratio [OR] = 0.813, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.809–0.816), Arab ethnicity (OR = 0.952, 95%CI 0.941–0.963), and low socioeconomic status (SES) (OR = 0.740, 95%CI 0.728–0.752) were less likely to be tested. By 2010, differences among economic sectors narrowed and Arab children were more likely to be tested (OR = 1.039, 95%CI 1.035–1.044). Girls had higher total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels compared to boys (P < 0.001). Jewish children had higher cholesterol and low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, as well as lower triglyceride levels than Arabs (P < 0.001). Children with low SES had lower cholesterol, low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found that boys, Arab children, and those with low SES were less likely to be tested. Over time there was a gradual reduction in these disparities. Publicly sponsored healthcare services can diminish disparities in the provision of preventive health among diverse socioeconomic groups that comprise the national population.

May 2019
Mahmud Mahamid MD, Amir Mari MD, Tawfik Khoury MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD, Majeed Ghantous MD, Omar Abu-Elhija MD and Abdulla Watad MD

Background: The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori varies geographically by age, race, and socioeconomic status (SES). However, the impact of ethnicity on endoscopic outcomes in infected individuals is not well known.

Objectives: To assess the impact of ethnicity among Israelis with biopsy-proven H. pylori infection.

Methods: A retrospective study, including patients who underwent gastroscopy and were diagnosed histologically with H. pylori infection, was conducted. Information on demographics, SES, medications, and co-morbidities were extracted from medical records. Univariate (Student's t-test, chi-square test) and multivariate (multinomial and logistic) regression analysis were conducted to examine the predictors of the clinical outcome.

Results: The study included 100 Israeli Jews and 100 Israeli Arabs diagnosed with biopsy-proven H. pylori infection. At univariate analysis, the number of households was higher among Arabs (P < 0.001), whose family income and parental education were lower than among Jews (P < 0.001 for both variables). The response to amoxicillin and clarithromycin differed between the two groups, being higher among Jews (P < 0.001).In clinical outcomes (gastritis severity, gastric and duodenal ulcer, intestinal metaplasia, atrophic gastritis, and MALT), no statistically significant differences could be detected between Jews and Arabs. Concerning intestinal metaplasia, lack of consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs resulted a statistically significant protective factor (odds ratio 0.128, 95% confidence interval 0.024–0.685, P = 0.016).

Conclusions: Although in the literature ethnicity seems to be a risk factor for H. pylori colonization, no statistical significance was detected in various endoscopic and histological findings related to H. Pylori infection between Israeli Arabs and Jews.

September 2018
Dror Lakstein MD, Ornit Cohen BEng Msc, Efrat Daglan MD, Yaron Haimovich MD and Zachary Tan MD FRCSC

Background: Mortality and decrease in function after hip fracture are significantly related to patient factors including age, gender, co-morbidities, and mental status. Several studies demonstrated ethnic disparities in incidence, mortality, and functional outcome after hip fractures in the United States.

Objectives: To assess the relationship between ethnicity and hip fracture incidence and outcomes of mortality, functional change, and perioperative complications in the Israeli population.

Methods: We reviewed our institutional hip fracture registry for all patients from 2014–2015. Patients with incomplete data, < 60 years of age, or pathologic and periprosthetic fractures were excluded. Our study comprised 693 patients. Ethnicity was based on country of birth. Specifically, for those born in Israel, the nationality of either Jewish or Arab was further dichotomized. Perioperative complications, mortality, and mobility status at 1 year follow-up were recorded. The ethnicities of 27,130 patients admitted to the medicine and surgical wards during the same time interval served as a control group for the hip fracture cohort.

Results: Immigrants from Europe and America had the highest incidence of hip fractures. Fracture types varied in incidence in groups with 70% of extracapsular hip fractures occurring in Arabs and immigrants from Eastern countries, compared to 60% in immigrants from Western countries and the former Soviet Union. Mortality, perioperative complications, and mobility at 1 year were similar in all ethnic groups.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated significant differences in incidence and fracture characteristic among ethnicities, but no difference in patient outcome. These findings differed from the available North American studies.

 

March 2018
Nizar Andria MD, Ali Nassar MD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Diab Ghanim MD, Dahud Qarawani MD, Erez Kachel MD, Khaled Taha MD, Offer Amir MD FACC and Shemy Carasso MD FESC

Background: Coronary artery disease (CAD) has known risk factors. Individual risks related to specific ethnicities are complex and depend on genetic predisposition and lifestyle.

Objectives: To compare the nature and prevalence of risk factors in Arab and non-Arab ethnic patients with symptomatic obstructive CAD referred for coronary angiography.

Methods: CAD, defined as coronary angiography with a ≥ 50% narrowing in ≥ 1 vessel, was diagnosed in 1029 patients admitted to a medical center between April 2014 and October 2015. Patients were divided into two groups according to ethnic origin: Arab vs. non-Arab. Demographics, clinical presentation, and coronary risk profiles were compared.

Results: The diagnosis of CAD was made during ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in 198 patients (19%) who arrived at the clinic, 620 (60%) with unstable angina/non-STEMI, and 211 (21%) with stable angina. Patients with symptomatic CAD and Arab ethnicity were 47% more prevalent than non-Arab patients presenting with CAD. The Arab patients were appoximately 5 years younger, 50% more likely to be active smokers, 25% more likely to be obese, and more likely to have a family history of CAD. Other coronary risk factors were similar between the two groups.

Conclusions: Smoking and obesity, which are potentially modifiable CAD risk factors, stood out as major risk factors, in addition to genetic disposition, among Arab and non-Arab patients with symptomatic CAD. Screening and educational interventions for smoking cessation, obesity control, and compliance to treatment of co-morbidities should be attempted in order to decrease CAD in the Arab population.

August 2016
Ron Lavy MD, Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Lital Keinan-Boker MD and Ariel Halevy MD

Background: Gastrointestinal malignancies comprise a broad spectrum of neoplasms and have a high overall incidence. The incidence rates in Israel vary among ethnic groups due to different risk factors.

Objectives: To investigate incidence trends of these cancers in Israel in both Jewish and Arab ethnic groups in order to better understand the risks in those groups.

Methods: This study is based on data published by the Israel National Cancer Registry and the Central Bureau of Statistics. We compared statistics between ethnicities and genders. We examined the eight most common gastrointestinal cancers, focusing on colon, rectal and gastric cancers.

Results: Between 1980 and 2012 there was a decline in the incidence of gastric cancer in the Jewish population; in contrast, a significant increase occurred in Arab women, but there was no significant change in Arab men. Colon cancer showed a relative decrease in incidence in the Jewish population, but an increase in the Arab population. A decrease in the incidence of rectal cancer in the Jewish population and an increase in the Arab population was observed. 

Conclusions: Gastric, colon and rectal cancers exhibit differences in incidence and outcome between Jewish and Arab populations in Israel. These differences were not observed in the other five types of less common gastrointestinal cancers.

 

Shimon Izhakian MD, Walter G. Wasser MD, Baruch Vainshelboim PhD, Benjamin D. Fox BM BS and Mordechai R. Kramer MD FCCP

Background: Studies in lung transplantation demonstrate that the ancestry and gender dissimilarities of donor–recipients lead to a decrease in survival of the recipient. 

Objectives: To evaluate the survival of lung transplant recipients in Israel based on whether the donors and recipients are of Jewish or Arab ancestry as well as survival based on gender match or mismatch.

Methods: We performed a retrospective observational cohort study of 345 lung transplant recipients at the Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva, Israel between January 1997 and January 2013. We compared the survival of lung transplant recipients in two ancestry categories: ancestry matched (Jewish donors to Jewish recipients or Arab donors to Arab recipients) and ancestry mismatched (Jewish donors to Arab recipients and vice versa). We also compared the survival among the four gender donor and recipient combinations (male to male, female to female, male to female, and female to male). 

Results: Survival analysis revealed no significant differences between the two ancestry groups (P = 0.51) and among the four gender combinations (P = 0.58). On Cox multivariate analysis, younger donor age was the only significant parameter for longer survival (hazards ratio 1.025, 95% confidence interval 1.012–1.037).

Conclusions: Gender and ancestry mismatches in these two Israeli populations do not appear to alter the clinical outcomes following lung transplantation.

 

November 2011
E. Greenberg, I. Treger and J. Schwarz

Background: Little is known of the risk factor disparities in first stroke among Jewish and Arab patients undergoing rehabilitation in Israel.

Objectives: To investigate the age, gender and risk factor disparities in first stroke among Jewish (immigrant and non-immigrant) and Arab patients undergoing rehabilitation and to compare the prevalence and odds ratio of stroke risk factors in these patients.

Methods: The database of the Department of Neurological Rehabilitation C at Loewenstein Rehabilitation Center was used to investigate first ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients admitted for hospital rehabilitation over a 15 year period, January 1993 to December 2008. Particular attention was paid to age, gender and risk factor disparities.

Results: The 2000 patients with first stroke who were included in the study were grouped as Jewish (immigrant and non-immigrant) and Arab (237 Arabs, 370 non-immigrant Jews and 1393 immigrant Jews). A high percentage of Arab patients were found to have hypertension and diabetes mellitus, while a high percentage of Jewish immigrants had stenosis of the internal carotid artery.

Conclusions: The study demonstrated some differences in the effect of risk factors between the groups. It may be important to address such differences when developing stroke preventative strategies in this population of Jewish and Arab stroke survivors in Israel.
 

September 2008
A. Brautbar, A. Abrahamov, I. Hadas-Halpern, D. Elstein and A. Zimran

Background: With regard to ethnic predilections for Gaucher disease, the most common storage disorder, Ashkenazi Jews are at risk for the non-neuronopathic form (type I), Norbottnian Swedes are at risk for the sub-acute neuronopathic form (type III), and perhaps Arabs are at risk for the very rare cardiac variant of the sub-acute neuronopathic form (type IIIc) for which there is a relatively tight genotype-phenotype correlation. Type II, the acute infantile form, being the rarest form, has not been associated with any ethnic predilection.

Objectives: To examine whether Arab ethnicity influences the Gaucher phenotype.

Methods: We reviewed the records of all Arab patients in a referral clinic of 586 patients in Israel.

Results: There were 46 patients (7.8%) of Arab ethnicity: 23 (50%) had type I disease, 16 (34.8%) had type IIIc disease, 4 (8.7%) had type IIIb disease, and 3 (6.5%) had type II disease. Type IIIc disease was characterized by genotype-phenotype correlation with homozygosity for the D409H (1342C) mutation. All five Bedouin patients (10.9%) had the R48W (C259T) mutation on at least one allele.

Conclusions: For all genotypes, disease severity among Arab patients was relatively similar to that reported among other Caucasian patients. Apparently Arab ethnicity does not impact phenotypic expression in Gaucher disease in a unique manner. The predilection for type IIIc may be a result of consanguinity.
 

July 2008
A. Mager, N. Koren-Morag, M. Shohat, A. Dadashev, R. Kornowski, A. Battler and D. Hasdai

Background: The C677T mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene is associated with early onset of coronary artery disease in some populations with certain ethnic backgrounds. However, data on its effect on CAD[1] development in women are limited and conflicting.

Objectives: To investigate the effects of the MTHFR C677T mutation and ethnicity on the development and age at onset of CAD in women in Israel.

Methods: The sample included 135 Jewish women with well-documented CAD (62 Ashkenazi, 44 Oriental and 29 of other origins) in whom CAD symptoms first developed at age ≤ 65 years. DNA samples from 235 women served as the control.

Results: CAD symptoms developed later in Ashkenazi than in Oriental women or women of other origins (51.0 ± 7.0 years vs. 48.3 ± 7.5 and 46.3 ± 7.7 years, respectively, P = 0.024). Among Ashkenazi women, the T/T genotype was less common in patients in whom CAD symptoms appeared after age 50 (6.4%) than in patients with earlier CAD symptoms (25.8%, P = 0.037) and Ashkenazi control subjects (23.3%, P = 0.045). Among women from other origins, these differences were not significant. On logistic regression analysis, the T/T genotype was associated with a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of early onset (age < 50 years) of CAD (odds ratio 3.87, 95% confidence interval 1.12–13.45, adjusted for risk factors and origin) and a trend towards an influence of ethnicity (P = 0.08). Compared to Ashkenazi women, the risk of early development of CAD associated with the T/T genotype among Oriental ones was 0.46 (95%CI[2] 0.189–1.114) and in women of other origins, 5.84 (95%CI 1.76–19.34). Each additional risk factor increased the risk of earlier onset of CAD by 42% (OR[3] 1.42, 95%CI 1.06–1.89).

Conclusions: The age at onset of CAD in Israeli women is influenced by the MTHFR genotype, ethnic origin and coronary risk factors.






[1] CAD = coronary artery disease

[2] CI = confidence interval

[3] OR = odds ratio


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