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.