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Jewish health issues, community are focus of new initiative

A new public health initiative in Northeast Ohio, the Jewish Community Health Initiative, hopes to take advantage of a cultural or religious community – in this case, Cleveland's 80,000 Jews – to disseminate public health messages and encouraging healthier behavior.

Jewish health care is not only about diseases that specifically attack Jews, such as Tay-Sachs, Gaucher and Niemann-Pick, Singer noted. The health problems that affect the highest numbers of Jews are the same ones that predominate among non-Jews in America: heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Thus, the Initiative focuses on reducing health problems common in the population at large.

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