Ethnic and Gender Variations in Ischemic Stroke Patterns among Arab Populations in Northern Israel: A Preliminary Exploration towards Culturally Aware Personalized Stroke Care

Chen Hanna Ryder, Carmit Gal, Gili Barkay, Shani Raveh Amsalem, Ziv Sarusi, Radi Shahien, Samih Badarny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Galilee region of Israel boasts a rich ethnic diversity within its Arab population, encompassing distinct Muslim, Christian, Druze, and Bedouin communities. This preliminary exploratory study uniquely examined potential ethnic and gender differences in ischemic stroke characteristics across these Arab subgroups, which are seldom investigated separately in Israel and are typically studied as a homogeneous “Arab” sector, despite significant variations in their ethnicity, culture, customs, and genetics. The current study aimed to comparatively evaluate stroke characteristics, including recurrence rates, severity, and subtypes, within and across these distinct ethnic groups and between genders. When examining the differences in stroke characteristics between ethnic groups, notable findings emerged. The Bedouin population exhibited significantly higher rates of recurrent strokes than Muslims (M = 0.55, SD = 0.85 vs. M = 0.25, SD = 0.56; p < 0.05). Large vessel strokes were significantly more prevalent among Christians (30%) than Druze (9.9%; p < 0.05). Regarding gender differences within each ethnic group, several disparities were observed. Druze women were six times more likely to experience moderate to severe strokes than their male counterparts (p < 0.05). Interestingly, Druze women also exhibited a higher representation of cardio-embolic stroke (19.8%) compared with Druze men (4.6%; p < 0.001). These findings on the heterogeneity in stroke characteristics across Arab ethnic subgroups and by gender underscore the need to reconsider the approach that views all ethnic groups comprising the Arab sector in Israel as a homogeneous population; instead, they should be investigated as distinct communities with unique stroke profiles, requiring tailored culturally aware community-based prevention programs and personalized therapeutic models. The identified patterns may guide future research to develop refined, individualized, and preventive treatment approaches targeting the distinct risk factors, healthcare contexts, and prevention needs of these diverse Arab populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number526
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Arab
  • epidemiological
  • ethnic
  • gender
  • Israel
  • personalized care
  • recurrent stroke
  • risk factors
  • stroke
  • stroke severity
  • stroke type

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