JOURNAL ARTICLE

Risk characteristics of Arab and Jewish women with coronary heart disease in Jerusalem

Refat Jabara, Sherin Namouz, Jeremy D Kark, Chaim Lotan
Israel Medical Association Journal: IMAJ 2007, 9 (4): 316-20
17491229

BACKGROUND: There is little published information on the coronary risk characteristics of Palestinian women. However, there are documented lifestyle differences as well as socioeconomic inequalities between Arab and Jewish women in Israel.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the risk factor characteristics of coronary heart disease patients in Palestinian and Israeli women.

METHODS: This study included 546 women (444 Jews and 102 Arabs) aged 35-74, all residents of Jerusalem, who underwent cardiac catheterization at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center between 2000 and 2003, and were confirmed to have coronary artery disease. Data on multiple risk factors were obtained from patient interviews and files.

RESULTS: Compared with Jewish women, Arab women had a higher prevalence of diabetes, had borne more children, were younger, had a lower socioeconomic status, consumed less alcohol and more olive oil, suffered more passive smoking and were less physically active. On the other hand, fewer Arab women had dyslipidemia, used hormone replacement therapy and had a family history of CHD.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared to Jewish women, Palestinian Arab women in Jerusalem appear to have more diabetes and exhibit lifestyle factors that generally increase the risk for CHD. Greater attention to primary prevention in this ethnic group is needed. This study suggests the need to investigate determinants of the metabolic syndrome and the possible role of passive smoking in Arab women as well as modes of intervention via health promotion and risk factor management in this population.

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