In Israel, infant mortality rate 3 times higher among Arabs
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In Israel, infant mortality rate 3 times higher among Arabs

New study also finds Arab Israelis to be more depressed and likely to die younger than their Jewish counterparts

Illustrative: Newborn babies in a hospital ward (Flash 90)
Illustrative: Newborn babies in a hospital ward (Flash 90)

The infant mortality rate among Israeli Arab infants is three times that among Jewish infants, a Central Bureau of Statistics study released Wednesday revealed.

In 2014, infant mortality rates stood at 2.2 percent in Israeli Jewish populations, while Arab Israelis reported a rate of 6.4 deaths per 1,000 live births that year.

While the study generally showed positive trends in Israelis’ health in recent years, it also revealed Arab Israelis are generally more depressed and will likely die younger than their Jewish counterparts.

According to the CBS, life expectancy in Israel has steadily increased in recent years, though Israeli Jews tend to live three years longer than Arabs.

The 2014 research shows that Jewish men and women in Israel have a life expectancy of 80.3 and 84.1 years old, respectively — a three-year increase from 2000.

In contrast, Arab men have a life expectancy of 76 years, while Arab women on average live to 79.8 years old.

The study also revealed that Arab Israelis were more likely to suffer from mental health issues, including depression. Close to half of the Arab respondents reported feeling depressed, as opposed to 31% of Israeli Jews.

The differing rates between numbers can be explained by socioeconomic and other differences between the communities. The report’s publication comes amid a heated public debate about Jewish/Arab segregation in Israeli hospitals.

The study was published ahead of World Health Day, and polled 200 experts from government ministries, the Bank of Israel, the academic sector and members of the public.

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