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November 26, 2014 12:15 pm

Israel Mortality Stats: Cancer Killing More Jews Than Arabs

avatar by Dave Bender

Life & Death. Photo: h.koppdelaney.

Cancer caused 25.9 percent of all deaths among Israeli Jews, as opposed to 20.7% among the country’s Arab population in 2012, according to recently-published Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) mortality rates, Israel’s NRG News reported Wednesday.

Arabs make up roughly a fifth of the country’s 8.2 million residents, as of 2014, according to the CBS.

Since 1999, cancer and heart disease are the most common causes of death in Israel and cause about 40 percent of all deaths – 41,877, half a percent of Israel’s population that year. 49.4% of the deceased were male, and 50.6% female.

Diabetes, the third most common cause of death among Arabs, accounts for 8.4% of deaths in this population group, compared with 5.3% among Jews. Some of the differences in the distribution of causes of death between Jews and Arabs stem from differences in the age distribution between the two groups; the Arab population is younger.

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The death rate from heart disease among Arabs is high – 1.7 times that of Jews. The diabetes death rate is 2.4 times higher among Arabs than Jews. In addition, the death rate from traffic accidents among Arabs 2.5 times higher compared to Jews and the murder rate, 5.6 times higher than among Jews. In contrast, Jews commit suicide 1.9 times more than Arabs.

The data also showed that 81% of the deceased were over the age of 65. 6% of the deceased were under the age of 45, 1.5% deceased (611) were infants under one year.

International comparison with OECD countries’ age-adjusted mortality rates for leading causes of death in Israel (2011), showed that mortality rates from cancer, ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease were higher than most OECD countries. Israel’s diabetes mortality rate is very high relative to OECD countries, with only Turkey and Mexico rating higher.

The most common cancers among men were cancer trachea, bronchial and lung, colon, rectal and pancreatic cancers. The most common cancers among women were breast, trachea, bronchus, lung, colon, and rectal. Cerebrovascular diseases were the third most common cause of death among women and fifth among men.

Infant mortality rates have declined sharply since the 70s, according to the statistics, with a drop from 24.2 per thousand births, to 3.6 in 2012.

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