Health Inequalities between Arabs and Jews in Israel: The Impact of Minority Status and Socioeconomic Position

Ameed Saabneh, University of Pennsylvania

This paper examines Arab-Jewish health inequalities in Israel. It examines how the minority status (MS) of Arabs is associated with their disadvantages in heart and diabetes morbidity. It hypothesizes that the MS of Arabs leads to inferior social position which has a negative effect on health. The study uses data from Israel National Health Survey 1999-00. Comparison between the two groups was based on propensity score matching. Results show that higher rates of diabetes among Arab females were substantially reduced when matched with Jewish females of similar socioeconomic background. Higher rates of heart diseases, however, were not reduced. For males balancing socioeconomic background didn’t result in any significant reduction. Persisting disparities between males after controlling for SES imply that the MS may impact health directly without the mediation of SES. It’s proposed that subjective experience of discrimination may increase levels of stress experienced by minority members, adversely affecting health.

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Presented in Session 178: Socioeconomic Status and Health - Cross-National Research