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Sznitman S.R.,Haifa University | Baron-Epel O.,Haifa University | Boker-Keinan L.,Haifa University | Boker-Keinan L.,Israel Center for Disease Control
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs | Year: 2013

Objective: Studying drinking patterns in relation to immigration processes is important for reaching a better understanding of changes in drinking habits in host as well as immigrant populations. Research based on assimilation models has previously noted that immigration may affect minority drinking patterns but has failed to acknowledge the possibility that immigration may change the host drinking patterns. The current study applies a bidirectional acculturation model to analyze if, and in what ways, mass emigration from the former Soviet Union (fSU) to Israel may have influenced immigrant drinking habits as well as the drinking patterns of veteran Israelis. Method: A cross-sectional pooled nationally representative stratified simple random sample of the young Israeli Jewish adult population (ages 21-40 years) from 2004 and 2009 was used (n = 1,357; women = 52.7%). Logistic regression examined differences in drinking patterns and differences over time between fSU immigrants and veteran Israelis. Results: There has been a convergence in moderate drinking habits between the two populations, and this convergence is attributed to increases in veteran Israeli moderate drinking over time but not to decreases in fSU immigrant drinking habits. Results also show that heavy drinking is increasing among veteran Israelis but that fSU immigrants continue to drink more heavily and to be more likely to prefer distilled spirits than veteran Israelis. Conclusions: A bidirectional acculturation model may be more appropriate than assimilation models for the study of immigrant drinking patterns because it acknowledges the possibility of changes in immigrant as well as host drinking customs. © 2013 Rutgers University. Source

Zbeida M.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Goldsmith R.,Ministry of Health | Shimony T.,Israel Center for Disease Control | Yardi H.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging | Year: 2014

Background/Objectives: The Mediterranean diet (MEDDIET) has been shown to be related to longevity. This study aimed to determine the association between adherence to MEDDIET and physical function of older adults in the United-States and Israel. Methods: Data from the US National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) 1999-2002 and from the Israeli National Health and Nutrition Survey (MABAT ZAHAV) 2005-2006 were used. Participants with nutritional and functional data were included. Adherence to the MEDDIET was assessed by a 9-unit score (MDS). Results: Among 2791 NHANES and 1786 MABAT ZAHAV participants, mean age=71.2y and 74.9y, 20% and 27% had low MDS (0-2), 66% and 62% had a medium score (3-5), and 14% and 11% had a high score (6-9), respectively. Higher MDS was associated with higher education and better lifestyle behaviors. Cognitive and physical functions were significantly better in NHANES and MABAT ZAHAV among the highest MDS. In NHANES, MDS (high vs. low) was associated with faster walking speed after adjusting for confounders in a logistic regression model [Odds Ratio (OR)=0.71, P=0.034, Cl 95% 0.511-0.974]. When cognitive function was added, the association was attenuated (OR=0.75, P=0.093, Cl 95% 0.540-1.049). In MABAT ZAHAV, in a logistic regression model adjusted among other to cognitive function, MDS (high vs. low) was associated with fewer disabilities (OR=0.51, P=0.029, Cl 95% 0.276-0.934). Conclusions: Adherence to the MEDDIET is associated with better health characteristics and better functioning. Further cohort and intervention studies may shed light on temporal and causal relationships between MEDDIET and these parameters. Source

Amitay E.L.,Haifa University | Keinan-Boker L.,Haifa University | Keinan-Boker L.,Israel Center for Disease Control
JAMA Pediatrics | Year: 2015

IMPORTANCE: Childhood cancer is a leading cause of mortality among children and adolescents in the developed world and the incidence increases by 0.9% each year. Leukemia accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer but its etiology is still mostly unknown. OBJECTIVE: To conduct a meta-analysis of available scientific evidence on the association between breastfeeding and childhood leukemia. DATA SOURCES: A thorough search for articles published between January 1960 and December 2014 researching the association between breastfeeding and childhood leukemia was conducted on PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Scopus (performed in July and December 2014), supplemented by manual searches of reference lists. STUDY SELECTION: To be included in the meta-analyses, studies had to be case control; include breastfeeding as a measured exposure and leukemia as a measured outcome; include data on breastfeeding duration in months; and be published in a peer-reviewed journal with full text available in English. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: The search identified 25 relevant studies, 18 of which met all inclusion criteria. No publication bias or heterogeneity among these 18 studies were detected. The quality of each study that met the inclusion criteria was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Multiple meta-analyses were conducted using the random effect model on raw data in the StatsDirect statistical program. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: No or short duration of breastfeeding and the incidence of childhood leukemia. RESULTS: The meta-analysis of all 18 studies indicated that compared with no or shorter breastfeeding, any breastfeeding for 6 months or longer was associated with a 19% lower risk for childhood leukemia (odds ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.73-0.89). A separate meta-analysis of 15 studies indicated that ever breastfed compared with never breastfed was associated with an 11% lower risk for childhood leukemia (odds ratio, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.84-0.94), although the definition of never breastfed differed between studies. All meta-analyses of subgroups of the 18 studies showed similar associations. Based on current meta-analyses results, 14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for 6 months or more. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Breastfeeding is a highly accessible, low-cost public health measure. This meta-analysis that included studies not featured in previous meta-analyses on the subject indicates that promoting breastfeeding for 6 months or more may help lower childhood leukemia incidence, in addition to its other health benefits for children and mothers. Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. Source

Bercovich E.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Keinan-Boker L.,Haifa University | Keinan-Boker L.,Israel Center for Disease Control | Shasha S.M.,Western Galilee Medical Center
Israel Medical Association Journal | Year: 2014

Background: Previous studies suggest that exposure to starvation and stress between conception and early infancy may have deleterious effects on health later in life; this phenomenon is termed fetal origin of adult disease. Objectives: To determine whether exposure to the Holocaust from preconception to early infancy is a cause of chronic morbidity in adulthood. Methods: This pilot study involved 70 European Jews born in countries under Nazi rule (exposed group) during the period 1940-1945 who were interviewed to determine the presence of chronic diseases. A control group of 230 Israeliborn individuals of the same descent, age, and gender distribution were extracted from the Israel National Health Interview Survey-2 (unexposed group). The prevalence of selected risk factors and chronic diseases was compared between the groups. Results: The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and morbidity was significantly higher in the exposed group: body mass index (BMI) (29.06 ± 3.2 vs. 26.97 ± 4.42, P = 0.015), hypertension (62.9% vs. 43%, P = 0.003), dyslipidemia (72.9% vs. 46.1%, P < 0.001), diabetes (32.9% vs. 17.4%, P = 0.006), angina pectoris (18.6% vs. 4.8%, P = 0.001) and congestive heart failure (8.6% vs. 1.7%, P = 0.013). The prevalence of cancer (30.0% vs. 8.7% P; 0.001), peptic ulcer disease (21.4% vs. 7%, P = 0.001), headaches/migraines (24.3% vs. 12.6%, P < 0.001) and anxiety/depression (50.0% vs. 8.3%, P < 0.001) was also higher in the exposed group. Conclusions: These results suggest that exposure to Holocaust conditions in early life may be associated with a higher prevalence of obesity, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular morbidity, malignancy and peptic diseases in adulthood. These findings set the stage for further research, which might define those exposed as a high risk group for chronic morbidity. Source

Dankner R.,Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research | Dankner R.,Tel Aviv University | Dankner R.,Feinstein Institute for Medical Research | Shanik M.H.,Endocrine Associates of Long Island | And 5 more authors.
Diabetes Care | Year: 2012

OBJECTIVE - Diabetes is associated with many forms of cancer. Recent evidence has suggested that some treatments for diabetes are associated with an increased cancer risk. Less is known about the association between endogenous insulin in the prediabetes state and cancer risk. RESEARCH DESIGN ANDMETHODS - We investigated cumulative cancer incidence and cancer incidence density over 29 years, according to basal insulin, in a cohort of 1,695 nondiabetic men and women of four ethnic origins, aged 51.8 ± 8.0 years at baseline. Total mortality among the 317 subjects (18.7%) who developed cancer at least 2 years after baseline was assessed. RESULTS - In a Cox proportional hazards model, the all-site hazard ratio of cancer incidence comparing the highest insulin quartile with the other three quartiles was 1.09 (95% CI 0.85-1.40), adjusted for age, sex, and ethnicity. BMI, smoking, and fasting blood glucose were not statistically significant in this model. Basal insulin level was not significantly associated with cancer of specific sites (breast, prostate, colon/rectum, or bladder). Fasting insulin in the upper quartile conferred a 37% increased risk for total mortality among cancer patients, adjusting for age, sex, and ethnic origin (95% CI 0.94-2.00, P = 0.097) compared with that of the lower quartiles. Male sex, older age, and North African origins were associated with a greater risk of mortality during follow-up time. CONCLUSIONS - This long-term cohort study may suggest a role for basal elevated insulin levels, mainly as a negative predictor in cancer prognosis. © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association. Source

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