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עמוד בית
Sat, 18.05.24

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February 2024
Ela Giladi MD, Roy Israel MD, Wasseem Daud MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Alaa Atamna MD, David Pereg MD, Abid Assali MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: The use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 monoclonal antibodies (PCSK9 mAbs) is emerging for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, real-world data is lacking for their use among elderly patients.

Objective: To define the characteristics of elderly patients treated with PCSK9 mAbs and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability compared with younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (≥ 75 years at enrollment) treated with PCSK9 mAbs for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. Data were retrieved for demographic and clinical characteristics; indications for treatment; agents and dosages; concomitant lipid lowering treatment; LDL-C levels at baseline, 6, 12 months, and at the end of follow up. Data also included achieving LDL-C target levels and adverse effects.

Results: The cohort included 91 elderly patients and 92 younger patients, mean age 75.2 ± 3.76 and 58.9 ± 7.4 years (P < 0.0001). Most patients (82%, 80%) were in high/very high-risk categories. For almost all (98%, 99%), the indication was statin intolerance, with PCSK9 mAb monotherapy the most prevalent regimen. The average follow-up was 38.1 ± 20.5 and 30.9 ± 15.8 months (P = 0.0258). Within 6 months the LDL-C levels were reduced by 57% in the elderly group and by 59% in the control group (P = 0.2371). Only 53% and 57% reached their LDL-C target levels. No clinically significant side effects were documented.

Conclusion: PCSK9 mAbs have similar effects and are well tolerated among elderly patients as in younger patients.

November 2023
Ibrahim Osman MD, Alaa Atamna MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Low-risk venous thromboembolism (VTE) patients are advised to be discharged from the emergency department (ED) on direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) treatment. There is no data on whether this recommendation is followed in Israel.

Objectives: To characterize newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED, their anticoagulation treatment at the ED, the recommended discharge protocol, and patient adherence.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study, which included all newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED. Collected data included demographic and clinical background; anticoagulation treatment at the ED, recommended discharge protocol and its subsequent adherence, patient subsequent, recommended hematological evaluation, and adverse events.

Results: The study group included 443 patients, 89% with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Approximately three-quarters were treated with anticoagulants in the ED, 98% with enoxaparin. At discharge, anticoagulants were recommended for all; 49% continued enoxaparin, 47% DOACs, and 4% warfarin. After 4 weeks, 67% were treated with DOACs, 22% with enoxaparin, 5% with warfarin. Approximately 6% discontinued all treatment. After 12 weeks, 90% of the patients who were taking DOACs adhered to the protocol, whereas only 70% and 50% among the enoxaparin and warfarin users, respectively, did. Only 56% were referred for hematological evaluation. The 12-week rate of adverse reactions was approximately 2%. The use of DOACs and the recommendation for further hematological evaluation increased over time.

Conclusions: Clinician training regarding discharge of VTE patients from the ED should continue.

September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

Avishay Elis MD, Ella Giladi MD, Ahmad Raiyan MD, Alaa Atamna MD

Background: Congestive heart failure (CHF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) or with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a common diagnosis in patients hospitalized in the department of internal medicine. Recently, the therapeutic regimens were updated, as the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors became an integral part of the therapeutic regimen for either HFrEF or HFpEF.

Objectives: To define the demographic and clinical characteristics of CHF patients hospitalized in the department of medicine.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study that included all patients hospitalized in the departments of medicine at the Rabin Medical Center, Israel, between 2016 and 2019. Demographic and clinical background, in-hospital procedures, discharge regimens, and outcome parameters were evaluated according to HFrEF/HFpEF.

Results: The cohort included 4458 patients. The majority (97%) presented with a preexisting diagnosis, whereas HF was an active condition in only half of them. The rates of HFrEF/HFpEF were equal. In most cases, the trigger of the exacerbation could not be determined; however, infection was the most common cause. There were basic differences in the demography, clinical aspects, and therapeutic regimens at discharge between HFrEF and HFpEF. Both conditions were associated with high in hospital mortality (8%) and re-admissions rates (30 days [20%], 90 days [35%]) without any difference between them.

Conclusions: HFrEF/HFpEF patients differed by demographics and co-morbidities. They were equally represented among patients admitted to medical wards and had similar prognosis. For both diagnoses, hospitalization should be considered for updating therapeutic regimens, especially with SGLT2 inhibitors.

February 2023
Dana Yelin MD MPH, Ran Levi BPT, Chinanit Babu BPT, Roi Moshe MSc, Dorit Shitenberg MD, Alaa Atamna MD, Ori Tishler MD, Tanya Babich MSc, Irit Shapira-Lichter PhD, Donna Abecasis PhD, Nira Cohen Zubary MSc, Leonard Leibovici MD, Dafna Yahav MD, Ili Margalit MD, MPH

Background: Clinical investigations of long-term effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are rarely translated to objective findings.

Objectives: To assess the functional capacity of individuals reported on deconditioning that hampered their return to their pre-COVID routine.

Methods: Assessment included the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and the 30-second sit-to-stand test (30-STST). We compared the expected and observed scores using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Predictors of test scores were identified using linear regression models.

Results: We included 49 individuals, of whom 38 (77.6%) were recovering from mild COVID-19. Twenty-seven (55.1%) individuals had a 6MWT score lower than 80% of expected. The average 6MWT scores were 129.5 ± 121.2 meters and 12.2 ± 5.0 repeats lower than expected scores, respectively (P < 0.001 for both). The 6MWT score was 107.3 meters lower for individuals with severe COVID-19 (P = 0.013) and rose by 2.7 meters per each 1% increase in the diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (P = 0.007). The 30-STST score was 3.0 repeats lower for individuals who reported moderate to severe myalgia (P = 0.038).

Conclusions: Individuals with long COVID who report on deconditioning exhibit significantly decreased physical capacity, even following mild acute illness. Risk factors include severe COVID-19 and impaired diffusing capacity or myalgia during recovery.

November 2022
Avishay Elis MD, Wassim Daud MD, Gal Cohen MD, Ela Giladi MD, Alaa Atamna MD

Background: There is an increasing use of anti-protein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs); however, real-world data is lacking.

Objectives: To define the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients treated with anti-PCSK9 mAbs. To evaluate efficacy, tolerability, and differences between the approved agents.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of patients treated at the lipid clinic at Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus), Israel, from January 2016 to December 2019. Data from electronic records were evaluated for demographic and clinical characteristics, indication for use, response of lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)/non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) levels and reaching target levels, side effects, tolerability, differences between the agents, and doses.

Results: The study cohort included 115 patients. Two-thirds (n=75) were at high cardiovascular risk, the rest at very high risk (n=40). The major indication for treatment was statin intolerance (n=97, 84%). Most patients (n=102, 88%) were treated by anti-PCSK9 mAbs agents only. LDL-C and non-HDL-C levels were decreased by 47% and 39%, respectively (156 + 49 to 81 + 39 and 192 + 53 to 116 + 42 mg/dl), within 6 months and remained stable. Two-thirds (n=76) of the patients reached their lipid target levels. No clinically significant differences were observed between the agents in efficacy or tolerability.

Conclusions: In a real-world setting, anti-PCSK9 mAbs are used primarily as a single agent in high-risk and very high-risk cardiovascular populations with statin intolerance. They are well tolerated and effective in reduction of LDL-C levels. Further studies are needed to clarify comparisons between agents and doses.

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