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עמוד בית
Sun, 03.03.24

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May 2022
Moria Mahanaimy MD MPH, Uriah Finkel MA, Noam Barda MD PhD, Eytan Roitman MD, Ran Balicer MD PhD MPH, Adi Berliner Senderey MSc MPH, and Becca Feldman ScD

Background: The association between use of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) inhibitors and both SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of severe COVID-19 has been presented in the recent medical literature with inconsistent results.

Objectives: To assess the association between RAAS inhibitor use and two outcomes: infection with SARS-CoV-2 (Model 1) and severe COVID-19 among those infected (Model 2).

Methods: We accessed used electronic health records of individuals from Israel who were receiving anti-hypertensive medications for this retrospective study. For Model 1 we used a case-control design. For Model 2 we used a cohort design. In both models, inverse probability weighting adjusted for identified confounders as part of doubly robust outcome regression.

Results: We tested 38,554 individuals for SARS-CoV-2 who had hypertension and were being treated with medication; 691 had a positive test result. Among those with a positive test, 119 developed severe illness. There was no association between RAAS inhibitor use and a positive test. Use of RAAS inhibitors was associated with a decreased risk for severe COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.47, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.29–0.77) compared with users of non-RAAS anti-hypertensive medication. The association remained significant when use of angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (adjusted OR 0.46, 95%CI 0.27–0.77) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (adjusted OR 0.39, 95%CI 0.16–0.95) were analyzed separately.

Conclusions: Among individuals with hypertension using RAAS inhibitors, we found a lower risk of severe disease compared to those using non-RAAS anti-hypertensive medications. This finding suggests that RAAS inhibitors may have a protective effect on COVID-19 severity among individuals with medically treated hypertension.

June 2019
Hagar Interator MSx RD, Avivit Brener MD, Moshe Hoshen PhD, Inbar Safra MD, Ran Balicer MD PhD MPH, Moshe Leshno MD PhD, Raanan Shamir MD and Yael Lebenthal MD

Background: In Israel, coronary heart disease mortality rates are significantly higher among the Arab population than the Jewish population. Dyslipidemia prevention should begin in childhood.

Objectives: To identify sociodemographic disparities in the preventive health measurement of lipid profile testing and lipoprotein levels among Israeli children and adolescents.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 1.2 million children and adolescents insured by Clalit Health Services between 2007 and 2011 was conducted using sociodemographic data and serum lipid concentrations.

Results: Overall, 10.1% individuals had undergone lipid testing. Those with male sex (odds ratio [OR] = 0.813, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.809–0.816), Arab ethnicity (OR = 0.952, 95%CI 0.941–0.963), and low socioeconomic status (SES) (OR = 0.740, 95%CI 0.728–0.752) were less likely to be tested. By 2010, differences among economic sectors narrowed and Arab children were more likely to be tested (OR = 1.039, 95%CI 1.035–1.044). Girls had higher total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels compared to boys (P < 0.001). Jewish children had higher cholesterol and low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, as well as lower triglyceride levels than Arabs (P < 0.001). Children with low SES had lower cholesterol, low-density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We found that boys, Arab children, and those with low SES were less likely to be tested. Over time there was a gradual reduction in these disparities. Publicly sponsored healthcare services can diminish disparities in the provision of preventive health among diverse socioeconomic groups that comprise the national population.

January 2003
M. Huerta, R.D. Balicer and A. Leventhal

During September 2002, Israel began its current revaccination program against smallpox, targeting previously vaccinated “first responders” among medical and emergency workers. In order to identify the potential strengths and weaknesses of this program and the conditions under which critical decisions were reached, we conducted a SWOT analysis of the current Israeli revaccination program, designed to identify its intrinsic strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for its success and threats against it. SWOT analysis – a practical tool for the study of public health policy decisions and the social and political contexts in which they are reached - revealed clear and substantial strengths and weaknesses of the current smallpox revaccination program, intrinsic to the vaccine itself. A number of threats were identified that may jeopardize the success of the current program, chief among them the appearance of severe complications of vaccination. Our finding of a lack of a generation of knowledge on smallpox vaccination urgently calls for improved physician education and dissipation of misconceptions that are prevalent in the public today.

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