Holocaust Trauma Lingers In Survivors, Driving Up Cancer, Heart Disease

0
Holocaust survivor Yehoshua Datsinger places tefillin on his arm above the Auschwitz concentration camp identification number tattoo, during morning prayer at a synagogue limited to 20 people during lockdown, in Bnei Brak, Israel, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Holocaust survivors experience lingering effects from the trauma they suffered in their younger years, increasing the chances of cancer and heart disease, according to a recently published Hebrew University study.

The study examined the death records of 22,000 people who were followed from 1964 to 2016, comparing the death rates of Holocaust survivors from cancer and heart disease to non-survivors.

Female Holocaust survivors had a 15% higher mortality rate and a 17% higher risk of death from cancer, the study showed.

Interestingly, the study showed that the overall mortality rate of male Holocaust survivors wasn’t higher than non-survivors but they had a staggeringly 39% higher risk of dying from heart disease and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer.

“Our research showed that people who experienced life under Nazi rule early in life, even if they were able to successfully migrate to Israel and build families, continued to face higher mortality rates throughout their lives,” said Iaroslav Youssim, one of the study’s authors.

The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)