Thursday, September 22, 2011


According to a new study:
The gap in life expectancy between Israeli Jews and Arabs – especially among men – has grown in recent years to 3.7 years, compared with only two years in 1998.

This is one of the trends evident from the 2010 National Health Report of the Health Ministry’s Center for Disease Control issued for publication on Thursday.

Although the report is statistical and does not offer explanations, it seems that a major reason for the gap is lifestyle differences, including tobacco use: 48.8 percent of Arab men still smoke, compared to 31.8% of all Israeli men and 14.8% of all Israeli women.

The high smoking rate among Arab men and the low smoking rate among Arab women raises the male national national smoking rate among men and lowers the female national smoking rate.

The incidence of cancer rose between 1979 and 2007 by 37% among Jewish men and 27% among Jewish women, compared to 140% among Arab men and 150% among Arab women; cancer rates had always been low among Arabs due to a more rural lifestyle.

Arab Israeli adults are significantly less likely to exercise regularly compared to their Jewish counterparts; 32.4% of the general population say they exercise at least three times a week for 20 minutes each session.

Among Jewish men, the self-reported exercise rate was 38% and of Jewish women 32.8%, compared to 23.8% for Arab men and 15.4% of Arab women.

Infant mortality has dropped in all sectors, both Jewish and Arab, but it remains more than twice as high among Israeli Arab babies; it now totals 3.8 per 1,000 live births. The rate in the Jewish sector is 2.9, compared to 6.5 per 1,000 live births among Arabs. The main causes of death in babies up to the age of one year is premature birth and congenital defects. During the past decade, infant mortality dropped by 78%, with the rate of decline similar in all sectors.
So what can we learn from this? While Jewish women might have some catching up to do in terms of exercise (though plenty of young teenage girls here seem far from overweight), they do refrain from too much smoking, in contrast to the Arab world, where smoking does still seem to be quite a big thing, though Arab women appear to recognize the hazards. On the other hand, look at how bad their percentage of exercise happens to be!

And it also suggests that, in the Arab world, they do not put that high a value on health, compared to the Jewish world, where it's far better.

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