- The incidence and prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) among Bedouins living in the Negev region were very low until the 1960s. During the past 50 years this pattern has changed: in parallel to the changes in lifestyle and nutrition in the Bedouin population, a rapid increase in incidence and mortality from CHD occurred. The relationship between the rise in CHD incidence and the degree of urbanization in this population has not been investigated to date. The study hypothesis was that the prevalence of risk factors and the outcome of myocardial infarction in Bedouins differ between those settled in permanent villages and those remaining in unrecognized villages. To compare the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, clinical characteristics, and in-hospital management of a first acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in two Bedouin groups: those residing in permanent villages versus those residing in unrecognized villages. We conducted a retrospective analysis of in-hospital data of 352 patients admitted with a first AMI during the period 1997-2003 to Soroka Medical Center, the only medical facility in the region. There were no differences between the two groups regarding the major cardiovascular risk factors and outcome. A relatively greater number of patients from urban areas underwent catheterization of any sort during their hospitalization (primary, rescue, and risk stratification; P = 0.038). No significant difference was found between the two groups in the type of catheterization performed (P = 0.279). We found no differences in the clinical characteristics and in-hospital management of patients with AMI between Bedouins residing in permanent villages versus unrecognized villages.