Ethnicity and sepsis characteristics and outcomes. Population based study

Galia Karp, Yael Perl, Lior Fuchs, Yaniv Almog, Moti Klein, Alina Vodonos, Jacob Dreiher, Daniel Talmor, Shlomi Codish, Victor Novack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Two distinct ethnic groups live in Southern Israel: urban Jews and rural Bedouin Arabs. These groups differ in their socioeconomic status, culture and living environment, and are treated in a single regional tertiary care hospital. We hypothesized that these two ethnic groups have different patterns of sepsis-related intensive care admissions. Methods: The study included all adult patients admitted to the Soroka University Medical Center Intensive Care Units between January 2002 and December 2008, with a diagnosis of sepsis. Demographic data, medical history, and hospitalization and outcomes data were obtained. Primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Results: Jewish patients admitted to the ICU (1343, 87%) were on average 17 years older than Bedouin Arabs (199, 13%). For the population < 65 years, Bedouin Arabs had slightly higher age-adjusted prevalence of ICU sepsis admissions than Jewish patients (39.5 vs. 43.0, p = 0.25), while for the population > 65 years there was a reverse trend (21.8 vs. 19.8 p = 0.49). There were no differences in the type of organ failure, sepsis severity or length of hospitalization between the two groups. Twenty eight days/in-hospital mortality was 33.9% in Bedouin Arabs vs. 45.5% in Jews, p = 0.004. Following adjustment for comorbidities, age and severity of the disease, survival was unrelated to ethnicity, both at 28 days (odds ratio for Bedouin Arabs 0.86, 95% CI 0.66-1.24) and following hospital discharge (hazard ratio 0.86, 95% 0.67-1.09). Conclusions: Sepsis-related ICU admissions are more prevalent among Bedouin Arabs at younger age compared with the Jewish population. Adjusted for confounders, ethnicity does not influence prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Ethnicity
  • Intensive care
  • Mortality
  • Outcome assessment
  • Sepsis
  • Septic shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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