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עמוד בית
Thu, 22.02.24

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March 2009
L. Ore, H.J. Garzozi, A. Tamir and M. Cohen-Dar

Background: Uncorrected refractive error is the leading cause of visual impairment in children. In 2002 a screening project was launched in Israel to provide data on the effectiveness of the illiterate E-chart in identifying Jewish and Arab schoolchildren in need of a comprehensive eye examination.

Objectives: To present the aims, design and initial results of the visual screening project and the prevalence of vision abnormality in the study population.

Methods: A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted during 2002–2003 among first- and eighth-graders in 70 schools in northern Israel. The nurse's test included use of the illiterate E-chart to measure visual acuity. The medical examination included vision history, clinical eye examination, VA[1] and retinoscopy. The ophthalmologist's evaluation as to whether a child needed a referral for diagnostic procedures, treatment and/or follow-up was recorded and compared with explicit referral criteria formulated after data collection.

Results: Of 1975 schoolchildren, 31% had abnormal VA, defined as VA worse than 6/6 in at least one eye, and a quarter had VA equal or worse than 6/12 in both eyes. The prevalence of vision abnormality among the children was 22.4% when based on the evaluation of the field ophthalmologist and 26.1% when based on two sets of explicit severity scores and referral criteria.

Conclusions: Vision abnormality is a significant health problem among northern Israeli schoolchildren. This project is unique in scope and importance, providing evidence to assist policy making with regard to vision screening for schoolchildren (including data on test reliability and validity) and optimal VA cutoff level, and confirming the need for clinical guidelines regarding referral criteria.

[1] VA = visual acuity

July 2008
C. Hartman, D. Berkowitz, B. Weiss, R. Shaoul, A. Levine, O. Eshach Adiv, R. Shapira, A. Fradkin, M. Wilschanski, A. Tamir and R. Shamir

Background: A polymeric diet rich in transforming growth factor-beta 2 used as a single nutrient has been shown to induce remission in 79% of children with Crohn's disease.

Objectives: To summarize the experience of several pediatric gastroenterology units in Israel using a TGFβ2[1]-enriched polymeric diet (Modulen IBD) supplementation in children and adolescents with Crohn's disease.

Methods: In a retrospective study we reviewed the charts of 28 children with Crohn's disease (10 girls, 18 boys) who received, in addition to conventional treatment, Modulen IBD™ as a supplement to their regular nutrition. These children were compared with 18 children supplemented with standard polymeric formula (Ensure Plus®) and 18 children without formula supplementation. We recorded clinical manifestations, growth, and the Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index before and after initiation of the polymeric diet.

Results: The Modulen-treated children showed a significant decrease in PCDAI[2] from 34.3 to 15.7 (P < 0.0001). A significant decrease in PCDAI was recorded also in the Ensure Plus group, from 35 to 22 (P = 0.02) but not in the non-supplemented group. Significant improvements in body mass index (P = 0.01) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (P = 0.03) were recorded at follow-up (median 3.4 months) only in the Modulen IBD group.

Conclusions: In this cohort of children with Crohn's disease, supplementation of the diet with Modulen IBD as well as supplementation with Ensure Plus was associated with a decrease in PCDAI. The children supplemented with Modulen IBD also showed improvement in BMI[3], suggesting an additional advantage of nutritional therapy in children with this disease.

[1] TGF-β2 = transforming growth factor-β2

[2] PCDAI = Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index

[3] BMI = body mass index

August 2007
Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Naomi Bar-Joseph, MSc, Gad Rennert, MD, Ada Tamir, PhD, Liora Ore, MD and Gad Bar-Joseph, MD. IMAJ 2007: 8: August: 603-606

Background: In the western world, trauma is the leading cause of disability and mortality in the 1–39 years age group. Road accidents constitute the most frequent cause of mortality among children older than 1 year and falls from a height are the most frequent cause of injuries requiring hospitalization.

Objectives: To analyze the epidemiology and characteristics of severe pediatric trauma due to falls from a height in northern Israel. This analysis should aid in planning an effective intervention plan.

Methods: This observational study included all patients aged 0–14 who died or were admitted to an intensive care unit in northern Israel following a steep fall. Demographic and clinical data were collected retrospectively for 3 years and prospectively for 1 year.

Results: A total of 188 children were severely injured or died following such a fall, with an annual rate of 11.4 per 100,000 children. Over 85% of severe injuries due to falls occurred among non-Jewish children, with an incidence rate 6.36 times higher than among Jewish children (20.17 and 3.17 per 100,000 children, respectively). In the non-Jewish sector 93.7% of the falls occurred at or around the child’s home, mainly from staircases, balconies and roofs.

Conclusions: A very high incidence of severe trauma due to domestic falls from a height was found among non-Jewish children in northern Israel. Domestic falls represent an important epidemiological problem in the non-Jewish pediatric sector, and an effective prevention plan should include measures to modify parents’ attitudes towards safety issues and the creation of a safe domestic environment.

December 2003
E. Segal, A. Tamir and S. Ish-Shalom

Background: The treatment of osteoporosis among postmenopausal women represents a major public health challenge since long-term therapy is needed to prevent fractures and chronic disability.

Objectives: To assess compliance with osteoporosis drug therapy among Israeli postmenopausal women treated with either a bisphosphonate (alendronate) or a selective estrogen receptor modulator (raloxifene); to identify factors affecting compliance among these patients; and to compare adherence to the treatment in these two groups.

Methods: Our study included 178 consecutive patients aged 67.41 ± 8.52 years who were treated for osteoporosis with alendronate or raloxifene in the Metabolic Bone Diseases Unit. All the patients received supplement with calcium carbonate 1,500 mg and 600 IU vitamin D daily. Compliance was assessed at a clinic visit 6 months after starting therapy.

Results: The dropout rate was 23% (41 patients): 20 patients (31%) in the raloxifene group and 21 (18%) in the alendronate group (P = 0.0041). The main reasons for dropout were side effects and/or non-compliance, 16 and 24 patients (39% and 58.53%), respectively. The most frequent side effect was abdominal pain in 9 patients (42.8%) who discontinued alendronate use. The reasons for non-compliance were a fear of side effects and high drug price in 6 (30%) and 4 (20%) patients respectively in the raloxifene group, and inconvenience caused by medication use in 3 (14.3%) patients in the alendronate group. Logistic regression analysis of factors that may influence compliance included age, previous fractures, family history of osteoporosis, bone density T-score less than -2.5, and presence and number of concomitant diseases. Age was the only statistically significant parameter in this model: 67.8 ± 8.8 in non-compliant versus 64.11 ± 7.4 in compliant patients (P = 0.029).

Conclusion: At least 20% of the patients discontinued chronic treatment for osteoporosis during the initial 6 months of therapy. The main reasons were gastrointestinal side effects in the alendronate group, and fear of side effects and high drug price in the raloxifene group. Older age was the only statistically significant factor influencing compliance.

April 2003
O. Nevo, E. Avisar, A. Tamir, M.S. Coffler, P. Sumov and I.R. Makhoul

Background: Multifetal pregnancy reduction has been implemented for improving the outcome of multifetal pregnancies. Recent studies reported no difference in pregnancy outcome between reduced twins and non-reduced twins, but the neonatal course and subsequent outcome in reduced twin pregnancies were not well documented.

Objective: To compare the neonatal course and outcome, as well as the gestational and labor characteristics, in twins from reduced multifetal pregnancies and in non-reduced twins.

Methods: This is a retrospective case-control study of the neonatal course of twins from reduced multifetal pregnancies. We found 64 mothers with multifetal pregnancy reduction who delivered twins during 1989–1997; 64 gestational age-matched non-reduced twin pregnancies served as controls. The following neonatal variables were examined: major malformations; small birth weight for gestational age; and neonatal morbidities including respiratory distress syndrome, apnea, pneumothorax, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, hyperbilirubinemia, sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, retinopathy of prematurity, seizures, intraventricular hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia, ventriculomegaly, and hydrocephalus. In addition, we evaluated several neonatal interventions (surfactant replacement, mechanical ventilation, phototherapy, total parenteral nutrition), and some laboratory abnormalities (thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, anemia, and hypoglycemia), duration of hospitalization, and neonatal mortality.

Results: Gestational and labor variables were not significantly different between multifetal pregnancies reduced to twins and non-reduced twin pregnancies. The neonatal morbidity and mortality were not significantly different between twin neonates from multifetal pregnancy reduction and non-reduced control twins.

Conclusions: Multifetal pregnancy reduction to twins appears to bear no adverse effect on the intrauterine course of the remaining fetuses or their neonatal course and outcome when born after 28 weeks of gestation.

February 2002
Imad R. Makhoul, MD, DSc, Polo Sujov, MD, Leon Ardekian, DDS, Imad Kassis, MD, Tatiana Smolkin, MD, Imad Abu-Elnaa'j, DMD, Ada Tamir, DSc and Dov Laufer, DMD

Background: Factors influencing the oral flora of premature infants have not been adequately investigated.

Objective: To investigate the effects of gestational age and of anti-bacterial therapy on the oral flora of premature infants.

Methods: Oral cultures were obtained at age 1 day and age 10 days from 65 premature infants, divided into three groups: a) 24 neonates of 30-34 weeks gestation who did not receive ABT, b) 23 neonates of 30-34 weeks gestation who received ABT, and c) 18 neonates < 30 weeks gestation who received ABT.

Results: Oral bacterial colonization increased from day 1 to day 10 of life. In 24-34 week neonates, gestational age did not affect early bacteremia or oral colonization at birth. Neither gestational age nor ABT affected late bacteremia or oral colonization at day 10. In 30-34 week neonates with ABT, the oral flora consisted mainly of non-Escherichia coli gram-negative bacteria, whereas those who did not receive ABT grew mainly alpha-hemolytic streptococci, Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli in neonates < 30 weeks who received ABT the oral flora were mainly coagulase-negative staphylococci. Oral colonization with anearobes was zero and colonization with fungi was minimal.

Conclusions: Acquistion of oral bacteria rose from day 1 to day 10 of life, regardless of gestational life or ABT. On day 10 of life, the spectrum of oral bacterial flora changed following ABT and consisted mainly of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus and non E. coli garm-negative bacteria. Oral colonization showed few fungi but no anaerobes. These microbiologic observations merit attention when empirical anti-microbial therapy is considered in premature infants suspected or having late-onset sepsis.

December 2001
Shmuel Reis MD, Margalit Goldfracht MD, Ada Tamir DSc, Riki Van Raalte MA, Tomas Spenser FRCGP and Doron Hermoni MD

Background: Which medical specialties do Israeli medical graduates choose? Answers to this question can serve as an essential means of evaluating both Israeli medical education and the healthcare system.

Objectives: To determine the distribution of medical specialty choice, its change over time and the posible influence of the medical school on the choice; to study the graduates’ gender, gender variability in specialty choice of family medicine as a career among the graduates as a group, by medical school, gender, and time trends.

Method: The study population comprised all graduates of the four medical schools in Israel during 16 years: 1980-1995 inclusive. Data were obtained from the four medical schools, the Israel Medical Association’s Scientific Council, and the Ministry of Health. Data allowed for correct identification of two-third of the graduates.

Results: A total of 4,578 physicians graduated during this period. There was a significant growth trend in the proportion of women graduates from 22.6% in 1980 (lowest: 20.0% un 1981) to 35.3 in 1995 (highest: 41.5% in 1991). Overall, 3,063 physicians (66.8%) started residency and 1,714 (37.4%) became specialists. The four most popular residencies were internal medicine. Ten percent of Israeli graduates choose family medicine.

Conclusions: The overall class size in Israel was stable at a time considerable population change. Women’s place in Israeli medicine is undergoing significant change. Family medicine is one of the four most popular residencies. Amonitoring system for MSC in Israel is imperative.

March 2001
Imad R. Makhoul, MD DSc, Osnat Zmora, MD, Ada Tamir, DSc, Eli Shahar, MD and Polo Sujov, MD

Background: Congenital subependymal pseudocysts are incidental findings that are found in 05-5.2% of neonates during postmortem examination or head ultrasonography. In our institution we detected 10 neonates with CSEPC.

Objective: To investigate associated etiological factors, morphologic characteristics and outcome of CSEPC.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of the literature on CSEPC (1967-98), including our 10 cases.

Results: A total of 256 cases of CSEPC were analyzed. Ultrasound diagnosed 77.6% of CSEPC 48.8% were bilateral and 53.4% were located in the caudothalamic groove or head of caudate nucleus. Altogether, 93.5% resolved during 1-12 months of ultrasonographic follow-up. Compared to the general neonatal population, the following features were more prevalent in the CSEPC population: prematurity, maternal vaginal bleeding, preeclamptic toxemia, intrauterine growth restriction, asphyxia, fetal cytomegalovirus and rubella infec­tions, congenital malformations, chromosomal aberrations, infant mortality, and neurodevelopmental handicap. The risk for neurodevelopmental handicap was significantly higher when CSEPC were associated with fetal infections, IUGR, malformations and chromosomal aberrations, or persistence of CSEPC during follow-up. CSEPC infants without any of these four conditions had a low risk for neurodevelopmental handi­cap.

Conclusions: CSEPC are morphologic features of various underlying conditions encountered in the fetus. Association of CSEPC with IUGR, fetal infections, malformations and chromosomal aberrations or persistence of CSEPC indicates a higher risk for future neurodevelopmental handicaps, probably because of the deleterious effects on the fetal brain that are inherent in these conditions. A favorable outcome is expected in the absence of these risk factors.

November 1999
Hava Tabenkin MD, Ada Tamir MD, Ami D. Sperber MD, MSPH, Micha Shapira MD and Pesach Shvartzman MD
 Background: Incidence rates for malignant melanoma in Israel are rising steadily, and the kibbutz population is at increased risk for this malignancy.

Objectives: To assess the risk factors for malignant melanoma among kibbutz members compared to matched healthy controls.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study of 168 malignant melanoma patients and 325 healthy controls, matched by age and gender. Data were collected on three categories of risk: demographic, personal (e.g., skin, eye and hair color), and environmental/behavioral (e.g., sun exposure, use of sunscreens).

Results: There were no differences between the groups regarding sociodemographic data. Significantly more patients than controls had fair, vulnerable skin (P<0.001), light eyes (P<0.05), and fair hair (P<0.001). There was no difference in family history of malignant melanoma or other cancers. Patients with malignant melanoma had significantly more additional skin lesions (e.g., keratoses) (P<0.001). More patients than controls recalled having been exposed to the sun for long periods when they were 6–13 years of age. A conditional logistic regression analysis showed that fair hair, fair vulnerable skin, and additional skin lesions were independently associated with malignant melanoma (P<0.01).

Conclusions: The main target population for interventions to reduce the incidence of malignant melanoma among kibbutz members should be individuals with these risk factors. A history of increased exposure to the sun from age 6 to 13 should also be taken into account as an independent risk factor. 

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