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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.04.24

Search results


July 2022
Avi Ohry MD and Esteban González-López MD PhD

Dr. Joseph Weill was a French Jewish doctor who made significant contributions to the knowledge of hunger disease in the refugee camps in southern France during World War II. He was involved with the clandestine network of escape routes for Jewish children from Nazi-occupied France to Switzerland

April 2020
Amir Oron MD, Yehuda David MD and Stéphane Romano MD
April 2019
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA

Throughout history, studies on episodes of famine have led to the discovery of metabolic abnormalities and hormonal aberrations as well as an increased incidence of cancer and mental health conditions. Starvation during early life is thought to nfluence the programming of childhood and adult bone metabolism, which may result in poor bone health in later life. This observational case series includes a small group (with no control group) of famine-exposed Holocaust survivors and their descendants. We proposed an investigational mechanism to determine any association between starvation and osteoporosis, both in the individual survivors and in their descendants.

Nadya Kagansky MD, Hilla Knobler MD, Marina Stein-Babich, Hillary Voet PhD, Adi Shalit, Jutta Lindert PhD MPH and Haim Y. Knobler MD

Background: Reports of longevity in Holocaust survivors (HS) conflict with excess prevalence of chronic diseases described among them. However, data on their long-term risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are limited. Clinical data on large representative groups of HS who were exposed to severe persecution are also limited.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of CVD and the risk factors in a large cohort of elderly HS compared to elderly individuals who were not exposed to the Holocaust (NHS).

Methods: CVD prevalence rates and risk factors data from the computerized system of the central district of Clalit Health Services, the largest Israeli health maintenance organization (HMO) in Israel were evaluated in a retrospective observational study. The study was comprised of 4004 elderly HS who underwent direct severe persecution. They were randomly matched by identification numbers to 4004 elderly NHS.

Results: HS were older than NHS and 51% of them were older than 85 years. The prevalence rate of ischemic heart disease (IHD) was significantly higher among HS. HS underwent significantly more cardiac interventions (20% vs. 15.7%, P < 0.05). HS status was an independent risk factor for increased IHD and for more coronary interventions.

Conclusions: Despite having a higher prevalence of CVD, a substantial number of HS live long lives. This finding may imply both unique resilience and ability to cope with chronic illness of the survivors as well as adjusted medical services for this population. These findings may help in planning the treatment of other mass trauma survivors.

November 2018
Bat-Sheva Porat-Katz MD, Teresa W. Johnson DCN, Itai Katz B Med Sc, and Shelly Rachman-Elbaum PhD

Background: Previously described as a subcategory of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), hoarding disorder was added to the fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) as a stand-alone diagnosis for the first time. The first formal research in the 1990s surprisingly found no connection between material deprivation early in life and hoarding; however, later studies linked early traumatic life experiences with hoarding. Subsequent familial studies demonstrated a genetic predisposition for hoarding. Emerging evidence suggests a link between a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors.

Objectives: To evaluate the literature on PTSD among Jewish Holocaust survivors for associations between PTSD and hoarding.

Methods: A systematic search of selected databases, including PubMed, Google Scholar, NCBI, Psych Info, and EBSCO Host was conducted from 1 March 2017 to 15 July 2018 using the following search terms: hoarding, hoarding disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, compulsive hoarding, Jewish Holocaust survivors, Shoa, post-traumatic stress disorder, and PTSD. Inclusion criteria included peer reviewed research published on adults in English since 1990. Because no publications linking hoarding and PTSD in Jewish Holocaust survivors were found, references in retained papers were also searched for any relevant published work.

Results: Seven articles linking PTSD and hoarding were identified for this review. However, no articles were found linking PTSD and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors.

Conclusions: A relationship between PTSD and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors is conceivable and should be explored to effectively diagnose and care for affected individuals.

April 2018
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA and Konrad Kwiet PhD

The discovery of Jewish babies who were born in Nazi concentration camps and survived seems miraculous, but this phenomenon did occur toward the end of World War II. The lives of a small group of mothers and surviving children are of both historical and medical interests. Their survival shows additional support for the hypothesis that maternal nutrition can induce metabolic syndrome and bone demineralization in their offspring. Information obtained through direct contact with some of the surviving children is the basis for this article.

Irit Ohana RN PhD, Hava Golander PhD and Yoram Barak MD MHA

Aging has been associated with perceived lowering of health, especially in post-traumatic individuals. The effects may be more complex or even different for Holocaust survivors as they age due to their inherited resilience and life perspective. A cross-sectional study was conducted of Holocaust survivors and a matched comparison group recruited from the general Israeli population. All participants underwent a personal interview and completed the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale and a survey of subjective Likert-scale questions about perceived health. The study comprised 214 older adults: 107 Holocaust survivors and 107 comparison participants; 101 women and 113 men. The mean age for the participants was 80.7 ± 4.7 years (range 68–93). Holocaust survivors did not differ from comparison subjects in general health measures (mean 51.50 ± 3.06 vs. 52.27 ± 3.24, respectively). However, the Holocaust survivors' subjective health was significantly lower, F (2,211) = 4.18, P < 0.05, and associated with decreased quality of life. The present study demonstrates the complex interplay between general and subjective health and suggests that future interventions need to focus on improving the psychological and social well-being of Holocaust survivors to achieve successful aging.

April 2017
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA

Starvation in early life can lead to premature metabolic syndrome and bone demineralization. Osteoporosis in the Jewish population may not yet be a recognized syndrome, but the harsh conditions to which Holocaust survivors were exposed may have increased the incidence of the condition. Immigrants and refugees who came to Israel from East Africa and Yemen – whether decades ago or more recently – may have been at increased risk of under-nutrition during pregnancy, affecting both the mother and consequently the offspring. This malnutrition may be further exacerbated by rapid overfeeding in the adopted developed country. This problem was also recognized at the turn of the 21st century in poor and underdeveloped countries and is becoming a global public health issue. In this review, the risks for premature metabolic syndrome and bone demineralization are enumerated and preventive measures outlined. 

Eliyahu H. Mizrahi MD MHA, Emilia Lubart MD, Anthony Heymann PhD and Arthur Leibovitz MD

Background: Holocaust survivors report a much higher prevalence of osteoporosis and fracture in the hip joint compared to those who were not Holocaust survivors.

Objective: To evaluate whether being a Holocaust survivor could affect the functional outcome of hip fracture in patients 64 years of age and older undergoing rehabilitation.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study compromising 140 consecutive hip fracture patients was conducted in a geriatric and rehabilitation department of a university-affiliated hospital. Being a Holocaust survivor was based on registry data. Functional outcome was assessed by the Functional Independence Measure (FIM)TM at admission and discharge from the rehabilitation ward. Data were analyzed by t-test, chi-square test, and linear regression analysis. 

Results: Total and motor FIM scores at admission (P = 0.004 and P = 0.006, respectively) and total and motor FIM gain scores at discharge (P = 0.008 and P = 0.004 respectively) were significantly higher in non-Holocaust survivors compared with Holocaust survivors. A linear regression analysis showed that being a Holocaust survivor was predictive of lower total FIM scores at discharge (β = -0.17, P = 0.004).

Conclusion: Hip fracture in Holocaust survivors showed lower total, motor FIM and gain scores at discharge compared to non-Holocaust survivor patients. These results suggest that being a Holocaust survivor could adversely affect the rehabilitation outcome following fracture of the hip and internal fixation. 

 

May 2016
Shiyovich MD, Ygal Plakht RN PhD, Katya Belinski RN BN and Harel Gilutz, MD

Background: Catastrophic life events are associated with the occurrence of cardiovascular incidents and worsening of the clinical course following such events.

Objectives: To evaluate the characteristics and long-term prognosis of Holocaust survivors presenting with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) compared to non-Holocaust survivors.

Methods: Israeli Jews who were born before 1941 and had been admitted to a tertiary medical center due to AMI during the period 2002–2012 were studied. Holocaust survivors were compared with non-Holocaust survivor controls using individual age matching.

Results: Overall 305 age-matched pairs were followed for up to 10 years after AMI. We found a higher prevalence of depression (5.9% vs. 3.3%, P = 0.045) yet a similar rate of cardiovascular risk factors, non-cardiovascular co-morbidity, severity of coronary artery disease, and in-hospital complications in survivors compared to controls. Throughout the follow-up period, similar mortality rates (62.95% vs. 63.9%, P = 0.801) and reduced cumulative mortality (0.9 vs. 0.96, HR = 0.780, 95%CI 0.636–0.956, P = 0.016) were found among survivors compared to age-matched controls, respectively. However, in a multivariate analysis survival was not found to be an independent predictor of mortality, although some tendency towards reduced mortality was seen (AdjHR = 0.84, 95%CI 0.68–1.03, P = 0.094). Depression disorder was associated with a 77.9% increase in the risk for mortality. 

Conclusions: Holocaust survivors presenting with AMI were older and had a higher prevalence of depression than controls. No excessive, and possibly even mildly improved, risk of mortality was observed in survivors compared with controls presenting with AMI. Possibly, specific traits that are associated with surviving catastrophic events counter the excess risk of such events following AMI.

 

Esteban González-López MD PhD and Rosa Ríos-Cortés MA

During the Nazi period, numerous doctors and nurses played a nefarious role. In Germany they were responsible for the sterilization and killing of disabled persons. Furthermore, the Nazi doctors used concentration camp inmates as guinea pigs in medical experiments for military or racial purposes. A study of the collaboration of doctors with National Socialism exemplifies behavior that must be avoided. Combining medical teaching with lessons from the Holocaust could be a way to transmit Medical Ethics to doctors, nurses and students. The authors describe a study tour with medical students to Poland, to the largest Nazi extermination camp, Auschwitz, and to the city of Krakow. The tour is the final component of a formal course entitled: “The Holocaust, a Reflection from Medicine” at the Autónoma University of Madrid, Spain. Visiting sites related to the Holocaust, the killing centers and the sites where medical experiments were conducted has a singular meaning for medical students. Tolerance, non-discrimination, and the value of human life can be both learnt and taught at the very place where such values were utterly absent.

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