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Low Level of Coronary Disease Among Bedouin in Israel Reported

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The low level of coronary disease among the Bedouiun in Israel was ascribed here by the chief of medicine at Hebrew University in Jerusalem as possibly due to the fact that the Bedouin diet is low in animal fats and the Bedouin way of life is characterized by an absence of stress.

During six years of work by Israeli physicians among the 18,000 Bedouin of Israel, Dr. Joannes J. Groen reported, a high rate of gastrointestinal diseases of childhood, pneumonia and tuberculosis was found, but there was a relative freedom from coronary ailments.

A study among 520 male Bedouin, he said, found only one abnormal electrocardiogram as compared to 18 among a somewhat larger group of Jewish dockworkers in Haifa. Only three cases were reported in the entire Bedouin population. A typical U.S. population of similar age composition over the same period would probably have had about 150 cases, Dr. Groen said. Dr. Groen served here as visiting chief of medicine at Mt. Zion Hospital.

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