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July 2008
Z. Vladimir Kobzantsev and A. Bass
March 2000
Michael A. Weingarten MA BM BCh, Irene Katzir MD, Elliot Sprecher PhD,Svetlana Kobzantsev MD, Cara Zelzer MD and Ernesto Kahan MD

Background: The pattern of diabetes and ischemic heart disease among emigrants from pre-industrialized societies to more developed countries may be explained by both genetic and environmental factors.

Objectives: To describe and interpret the pattern of diabetes and ischemic heart disease among Yemenite immigrants in Israel and their second-generation offspring.

Methods: Medical record charts of adult Yemenites were surveyed in a primary care health center, and the data were compared with prevalence rates derived from a non-Yemenite population.

Results: There was a marked excess of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus among Yemenite immigrants over 45 years of age, but not of hypertension or ischemic heart disease. Yemenites with diabetes were far less likely to develop ischemic heart disease than non-Yemenites with diabetes (odds ratio for non-Yemenites compared with Yemenites, 3.5; confidence interval 1.54<OR<7.77).

Conclusions: There was less of an association between diabetes and ischemic heart disease among Yemenites. This finding requires further investigation of the relative roles of genetic and environmental factors. 

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OR= odds ratio

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