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


Background: Following research demonstrating an increased risk for meningiomas in the Jewish populationof Shiraz (Iran) we conducted a cohort analysis of meningiomas among Jews originating in Iran and residingin Israel. Materials and
Methods: We use the population-based registry data of the Israeli National CancerRegistry (INCR) for the main analysis. All benign meningioma cases diagnosed in Israel from January 2000 tothe end of 2009 were included. Patients that were born in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece were usedfor the analysis, whereby we calculated adjusted incidence rates per 100,000 people and computed standardizedincidence ratios (SIRs) comparing the Iranian-born to each of the three other groups.
Results: Iranian-bornJews had statistically significant higher meningioma rates rates compared to other Jews originating in Balkanstates: 1.46 fold compared to Turkish Jews and 1.86 fold compared to the Bulgaria-Greece group. There was asmall 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 ascompared to rates in neighboring countries of origin. These differences can be in part attributed to early lifeenvironmental exposures in Iran but probably in larger amount are due to genetic and hereditary factors in aclosed community like the Iranian Jews. Some support for this conclusion was also found in other publishedresearch.