High Incidence of Benign Brain Meningiomas among Iranian-born Jews in Israel may be Linked to both Hereditary and Environmental Factors

  • Barchana, Micha (School of Public Health, Faculty of Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa) ;
  • Liphshitz, Irena (Israel National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health)
  • Published : 2013.10.30


Background: Following research demonstrating an increased risk for meningiomas in the Jewish population of Shiraz (Iran) we conducted a cohort analysis of meningiomas among Jews originating in Iran and residing in Israel. Materials and Methods: We use the population-based registry data of the Israeli National Cancer Registry (INCR) for the main analysis. All benign meningioma cases diagnosed in Israel from January 2000 to the end of 2009 were included. Patients that were born in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece were used for the analysis, whereby we calculated adjusted incidence rates per 100,000 people and computed standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) comparing the Iranian-born to each of the three other groups. Results: Iranian-born Jews had statistically significant higher meningioma rates rates compared to other Jews originating in Balkan states: 1.46 fold compared to Turkish Jews and 1.86 fold compared to the Bulgaria-Greece group. There was a small increase in risk for the Iranian born group compared to those who were born in Iraq (1.06, not significant). Conclusions: Higher rates of meningiomas were seen in Jews originating in Iran that are living in Israel as compared to rates in neighboring countries of origin. These differences can be in part attributed to early life environmental exposures in Iran but probably in larger amount are due to genetic and hereditary factors in a closed community like the Iranian Jews. Some support for this conclusion was also found in other published research.


Meningioma;cancer epidemiology;Jews;Balkan states;Iranian


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