Relative prevalence of malformations at birth among different religious communities in Israel

Joël Zlotogora, Ziona Haklai, Naama Rotem, Moriah Georgi, Itzhak Berlovitz, Alex Leventhal, Yona Amitai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The aim of this research was to determine the relative prevalence at birth of major malformations among the different religious communities in Israel as a way to better understand their causes. We collected data on malformations present among liveborn infants in a 10-year period from the national registry of birth defects according to the religious affiliation. In a total of 1,203, 763 liveborn infants, the prevalence of major malformations was in a similar range among Jews and Christians and much higher among Muslim and Druze. These observations may be explained by differences between these communities, in particular, the rates of consanguinity and of therapeutic abortions. The Muslim and Druze communities in Israel are those with the highest consanguinity rates and the lowest rates of termination of pregnancies when a malformation is diagnosed. Analysis of the differences in the rate of malformations at birth in different communities is important for Public Health planning. It may also help to delineate causes and serve as the basis for research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-62
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A
Volume122 A
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabs
  • Druze
  • Infant mortality
  • Jews
  • Malformations


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