What is the Lindex?

The Lindex is the first ethnic database of disease. Since 1973 the Dr. Lindenthal has been collecting and reviewing studies dealing with the disease experience of American and Canadian Jews. Approximately 95% of this population is Ashkenazic (German or East European) in origin. The others are Sephardic Jews who originate in Spain and North Africa. Over the decades and with the advent of new technologies, including hardware and software packages for the personal computer, it became evident that the work that began with a series of typed reviews could be expanded into a powerful research tool. A database was thus created and named the Lindex.

There is no comparable database for any ethnic group that covers this array of diseases in this detail for a 126 year period (1874-2000). Data sources include journal articles, conference proceedings, community, insurance, government, hospital and vital statistics reports, doctoral dissertations as well as monographs.


What does the Lindex consist of?

The Lindex consists of two separate parts, the MicroLindex and the MacroLindex.

The MicroLindex is a database that records numerous variables of each study in the Lindex. These variables include: Lindex number, ICD number, name of the disease, date of study, date of publication, name(s) of author(s), title of article, title of publication, volume number, page(s), study design (cross sectional, case report, literary/historical review), nature of the study (morbidity, mortality, morbidity/mortality), source(s) of data (clinical, laboratory, record reviews, questionnaire), findings (higher, lower, no differences, significantly higher, significantly lower) as well as locations of study groups, and the locations of the authors.


The second major component of this study is known as the MacroLindex which involves a review of each disease associated with every one of the publications in text form. Each Lindex entry consists of at least one and more often several or more paragraphs.


We are in the process of developing two ways to search the Lindex. The first is basic in nature and the second is more advanced. The difference between the two types of searches is that the basic one is a text that searches the same way a Search Engine does, by looking for words, or string of words. Performing this search provides more. If you search for two words in the same field, the system will look to see only if they are next to one another. You can however, search for up to three terms simultaneously.

Boolean Expressions

In the basic Search you can use Boolean expressions which are used to describe exactly what you are searching form. Normally, Boolean expressions us the terms and and or, but parentheses can also be used to group variables together. Below are examples of Boolean expressions as they relate to the Lindex search:

  • breast and cancer
  • breast or cancer
  • (breast or cervical) and cancer

The advance search allows you to search data in certain fields, and to then read the associated textiles. For example, you may wish to look up all the articles in which one of the first three authors was Dr. X or you may wish to look up all the articles involving breast cancer (ICD9 #174.9). The Lindex will eventually permit you search for articles by ICD9, by year, based on findings of the article, and let you make reports based on the your criteria.


MicroLindex Search (advance search):

For each entry in the Lindex there is a Database record that records the following variables:

  • Author(s)
  • Year(s) of Publication
  • Year(s) of study
  • Sources of data (including Journal/Publication, Volume, Issue, Page Numbers)
  • Origins of authors
  • Origins of study population
  • Number of Jews and non-Jews
  • Findings by total, males and females (higher, lower, no difference, level of statistical significance)
  • Nature of study (morbidity, mortality)
  • Study design (Vital Statistics, Census Data, Interview, Questionnaire, Laboratory, Clinical/ Case Study, History, Case Registry, Record Review /History, Historical Review, Field Observation, Clinical and Laboratory, Literature Review, Clinical) (Please note: not all Lindex entries have all the variables)

MacroLindex Search (basic search):

For more than 90% of the Lindex entries there is also a textfile that gives the critical bibliographical information about the study as well as an abstract/summary of the article, and in many cases a table with the findings is included.