Diabetes control in the Bedouin population in Southern Israel

Arnon D. Cohen, Keren Gefen, Ayala Ozer, Nissan Bagola, Vered Milrad, Lea Cohen, Talab Abu-Hammad, Younis Abu-Rabia, Ilia Hazanov, Daniel A. Vardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: The Bedouins in the Negev are a population in transition from traditional nomadic to a western sedentary lifestyle, characterized by changes in dietary habits and reduction in physical activity, with substantial changes in morbidity patterns. To describe the current state of diabetes prevalence and control among the Bedouin population in the Negev and to compare it to the non-Bedouin population. Material/Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed utilizing the database of Clalit Health Services. In patients with a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes, the following variables were extracted from the laboratory records: hemoglobinA1c (HgA1C) level, urine microalbumin level and low density lipoprotein (LDL) level. Chi-square test was used to compare categorical parameters between the groups. Results: Age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes was 5.1% in the Bedouin population as compared to 3.7% in the non-Bedouin population (p<0.001). Diabetes was more prevalent in urban as compared to rural settlements (5.5% vs. 3.9%, respectively, p<0.001). The proportion of Bedouins patients with controlled diabetes (HgA1C<7) was significantly lower in Bedouin patients (29.3%) as compare to Non-Bedouin patients (46.7%) (p<0.001). Conclusions: Age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes is increased in the Bedouin population as compared to the Non-Bedouin population in southern Israel. Despite similar performance status of laboratory tests and similar treatment regimens, the overall control of diabetes is poorer in the Bedouin population as compared to the Non-Bedouin population. These findings support previous observations that diabetes has become a major public health problem among Bedouins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)CR376-CR380
JournalMedical Science Monitor
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Bedouins
  • Control
  • Diabetes
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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