The Holocaust - Late morbidity among holocaust survivors: Myth or fact?

Avi Ohry, Shaul M. Shasha

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


The harsh life in the ghettos and concentration/extermination camps during the Holocaust was characterized by hunger, exposure to extreme cold temperatures, continuous threats, infectious diseases and injuries with acute or permanent disabilities and extreme psychological stress. There is no definite scientific evidence that the Holocaust survivors are exposed to premature aging or premature appearance of various physical diseases. These aspects were thoroughly investigated in other populations: ex-prisoners of war, ex-displaced persons, prisoners and survivors of torture. Famine, disabilities, diseases and stress, particularly at the beginning of or during puberty, were found to increase vulnerability to later morbidity, especially hypertensive and cardiovascular disease and to increased mortality. This article discusses the possibility of premature aging among Holocaust survivors as a late effect of their life conditions during the Holocaust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-253
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Concentration camps
  • Holocaust


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