Holocaust survivors had higher rates of chronic conditions, lower rates of death

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Bottom Line: Holocaust survivors had higher rates of chronic conditions but lower rates of death than a comparison group of individuals insured by the same healthcare services organization in Israel. Biological and psychosocial reasons that may help to explain the findings need more study but researchers suggest unique characteristics of resilience among Holocaust survivors and better health literacy may be among the possibilities. This observational study included more than 38,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel who were born between 1911 and 1945 in Europe and nearly 35,000 people in a control group born in Israel during those same years. Both groups were insured by Maccabi Healthcare Services in Israel. The study used data collected from 1998 through 2017 and looked at heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and death.

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Authors: Gideon Koren, M.D., of Maccabi Healthcare Services, Tel Aviv, Israel, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.6643)

Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

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Gideon Koren, M.D.

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