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Crohn’s disease in Israeli Jews of Ethiopian heritage—a case series



There is a paucity of information on the prevalence of Crohn’s disease (CD) in patients of African heritage. Israel is home to approximately 144,100 Jews of Ethiopian heritage. We present an audit of six patients of Ethiopian heritage in our surgical IBD clinic.


Six patients are presented. All but one was born in Ethiopia. The age of diagnosis ranged from 19 to 43. Of those who immigrated to Israel, all were diagnosed with Crohn’s 10 years or more after immigration. All patients required surgery. Nearly all patients had disease of the terminal ileum (5/6), and many had perianal disease (4/6).


This series indicates the existence of Crohn’s disease in a population previously unassociated with this disease. These patients demonstrate that like all other patients with Crohn’s disease, many will require surgery for either intestinal or perianal disease. Patients of Ethiopian descent with clinical symptoms and signs suspicious of Crohn’s should be referred for diagnostic testing.

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Author information

B.R. contributes to the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing of the initial draft and editing co-authors’ contributions. M.S. contributes to the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data and in providing the critical revision of article. S.A. participated in designing, analyzing, and interpreting the data, as well as in the critical revision of article. I.W. contributes to the conception and design, acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data, as well as in writing of the final version. All authors gave their final approval of the version to be published.

Correspondence to Barak Raguan.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Raguan, B., Slavin, M., Avital, S. et al. Crohn’s disease in Israeli Jews of Ethiopian heritage—a case series. Int J Colorectal Dis 35, 565–567 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00384-019-03474-0

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  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethiopia
  • Case series