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עמוד בית
Sun, 16.06.24

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April 2007
M. Shechter, I. Marai, S. Marai, Y. Sherer, B-A. Sela, M. S. Feinberg, A. Rubinstein and Y. Shoenfeld

Background: Endothelial dysfunction is recognized as a major factor in the development of atherosclerosis and it has a prognostic value.

Objectives: To detect the long-term association of peripheral vascular endothelial function and clinical outcome in healthy subjects and patients with cardiovascular disease.

Methods: We prospectively assessed brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in 110 consecutive subjects (46 CVD[1] patients and 64 healthy controls), mean age 57 ± 11 years; 68 were men. After an overnight fast and discontinuation of all medications for ≥ 12 hours, percent improvement in FMD and nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation were assessed using high resolution ultrasound.

Results: %FMD[2] but not %NTG[3] was significantly lower in CVD patients (9.5 ± 8.0% vs. 13.5 ± 8.0%, P = 0.012) compared to healthy controls (13.4 ± 8.0% vs. 16.7 ± 11.0%, P = 0.084; respectively). In addition, an inverse correlation between %FMD and the number of traditional CVD risk factors was found among all study participants (r = -0.23, P = 0.015) and healthy controls (r = -0.23, P = 0.036). In a mean follow-up of 15 ± 2 months, the composite CVD endpoints (all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart failure or angina pectoris, stroke, coronary artery bypass grafting and percutaneous coronary interventions) were significantly more common in subjects with FMD < 6% compared to subjects with FMD > 6% (33.3% vs. 12.1%, P < 0.03, respectively).
Conclusions: Thus, brachial artery %FMD provides important prognostic information in addition to that derived from traditional risk factor assessment







[1] CVD = cardiovascular disease



[2] %FMD = percent improvement in flow-mediated dilation



[3] %NTG = percent improvement in nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation


February 2007
A. Friedman, A. Lahad

Background: Healthcare behavior occurs within the context of the family unit. Little research has investigated the influences among adult family members regarding their use of medical care services.

Objectives: To investigate the effects of maternal attendance patterns and maternal self-assessed health status on those of adult children.

Methods: This study was a retrospective cohort, analyzing both patient records for physician visits and mailed self-administered questionnaires regarding subjective health assessment. We evaluated a unique study group of multi-generational families with free and equal access to medical services at a primary care kibbutz clinic in Israel. This enabled an exclusive focus on the association between the use of healthcare by mothers and their grown children.

Results: Controlling for the subjects' age, gender and number of chronic diagnoses, a significant association exists between the family physician visit rates of a mother and those of her grown offspring (P = 0.03). Low self-health assessment is associated with higher levels of physician utilization (P = 0.003). Maternal self-health evaluation is associated with her adult children's own self-health evaluation (odds ratio 5.9, P = 0.04) and their rates of physician utilization (one additional offspring visit per year for low maternal self-health, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: A mother’s behavior patterns measured via self-rated health status and physician visit rates serve as a proxy for maternal attitudes regarding healthcare, and these attitudes are possibly imparted to her children for life. This study provides unique evidence for a maternal health behavior effect on grown children, and enables a more complete understanding of families attending the primary care clinic.
 

July 2006
T. Hershcovici, T. Chajek-Shaul, T. Hasin, S. Aamar, N. Hiller, D. Prus and H. Peleg
October 2005
X. Giakoumi, M. Tsironi, C. Floudas, E. Polymeropoylos, E. Papalambros and A. Aessopos
June 2005
M.A. Abdul-Ghani, J. Kher, N. Abbas and T. Najami
 Background: Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with obesity, and both conditions are frequently detected in the Arab population in Israel. Recent studies have demonstrated that diabetes can be prevented by a change in lifestyle.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of diabetes in an Arab community, the contribution of obesity to diabetes development, and the therapeutic potential of a preventive program.

Methods: Data were obtained from the medical files of diagnosed diabetes patients attending a primary care clinic in an Arab village in northern Israel.

Results: Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed in 323 patients of whom 63% were women. The prevalence of diabetes below age 65 years was significantly higher among women than men. Diabetic women were younger than men at diagnosis (48.27 vs. 59.52 respectively) and were found to have higher body mass index (34.35 vs. 30.04 respectively) at diagnosis. The age at diagnosis of diabetes was strongly correlated with BMI[1] (r = 0.97, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Women of Arab origin are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to men. Obesity in women seems to be associated with higher diabetes risk as well as earlier appearance of the disease. Therefore, they will have the disease for longer and, consequently, a higher risk for complications.


 





[1] BMI = body mass index


October 2003
N. Shimoni, M. Kaplan and S. Keidar

Background: Increased levels of high density lipoprotein (over 60 mg/dl) are considered to be a risk factor for ischemic heart disease. However, some patients with high HDL[1] still develop cardiovascular diseases.

Objective: To find out why patients with very high HDL still suffer from cardiovascular diseases.

Methods: We analyzed several risk factors, such as increased lipid peroxidation, hyperhomeocysteinemia and increased release of inflammatory molecules that could be related to the development of vascular disease in patients with high serum HDL levels. Patients with HDL cholesterol levels above 75 mg/dl were selected for this study and were separated into two groups based on the presence of atherosclerotic vascular disease, i.e., those with vascular disease (patients) and those without (controls).

Results: Plasma isolated from the patient group exhibited significantly increased lipid peroxidation by 21% and decreased total antioxidant status by 17%, but there were no differences regarding their serum or their paraoxonase activity. Moreover, both groups exhibited similar levels of serum C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and homocysteine, enabling us to eliminate these risk factors in the etiology of cardiovascular disease in the patient group.

Conclusion: Increased oxidative stress could be one of the factors leading to cardiovascular diseases in patients with high serum HDL levels.






[1] HDL = high density lipoprotein


May 2003
A. Leibovitz, O. Blumenfeld, R. Segal, E. Lubart, Y. Baumoehl and B. Habot

Background: While age at death is on the rise, the number of postmortem examinations is declining and is disproportionately low among the elderly population. Research on the subject of gender-associated pathology in the elderly is also scarce.

Objective: To seek eventual gender-related differences in autopsies of elderly patients.

Methods: We analyzed the data extracted from a published report on 93 PMEs[1] performed at a geriatric hospital during the past 20 years.

Results: Ninety-three autopsies, representing 1.2% of the 8,101 deaths during these 20 years, were performed. Forty-five of the deceased were women and 48 were men. The incidence of pulmonary embolism was significantly higher in women (28%) than in men (10%) (P< 0.02). There was no significant difference in the gender distribution of the other diagnoses.

Conclusion: Gender distribution of PME-based causes of death in elderly patients revealed a significant rate of pulmonary embolism in women. A thorough search of the medical literature revealed two previous studies with similar findings. Further research will determine whether pulmonary embolism is more frequent or whether it has a worse prognosis in frail elderly women.






[1] PME = postmortem examination


April 2003
G. Amit, S. Goldman, L. Ore, M. Low and J.D. Kark

Background: Although the preferred management of a patient presenting with an acute myocardial infarction is in a coronary care unit, data based on discharge diagnoses in Israel indicate that many of these patients are treated outside such units.

Objectives: To compare the demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment and mortality of AMI[1] patients treated inside and outside a CCU[2].

Methods: We compiled a registry of all patients admitted to three general hospitals in Haifa, Israel during January, March, May, July, September and November 1996.

Results: The non-CCU admission rate was 22%. CCU patients were younger (61.6 vs. 65.5 years), less likely to report a past AMI (18% vs. 34%), and arrived earlier at the emergency room. Non-CCU patients were more likely to present with severe heart failure (30 vs. 11%). Non-CCU patients received less aspirin (81 vs. 95%) and beta-blockers (62 vs. 80%). Upon discharge, these patients were less frequently prescribed beta-blockers and cardiac rehabilitation programs. CCU-treated patients had lower unadjusted mortality rates at both 30 days (odds ratio=0.35) and in the long term (hazards ratio=0.57). These ratios were attenuated after controlling for gender, age, type of AMI, and degree of heart failure (OR[3]=0.91 and HR[4]=0.78, respectively).

Conclusions: A relatively high proportion of AMI patients were treated outside a CCU, with older and sicker patients being denied admission to a CCU. The process of evidence-based care by cardiologists was preferable to that of internists both during the hospital stay and at discharge. In Israel a significant proportion of all AMI admissions are initially treated outside a CCU. Emphasis on increasing awareness in internal medicine departments to evidence-based care of AMI is indicated.






[1] AMI = acute myocardial infarction



[2] CCU = coronary care unit



[3] OR = odds ratio



[4] HR = hazards ratio


February 2003
M. Khamaisi, J. Wainstein, N. Hancu, Z. Milicevic and I. Raz

Patients with diabetes and/or insulin resistance syndrome are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The UKPDS raised a great debate about the relative importance of hyperglycemia in the development of cardiovascular disease. Recently, several epidemiologic studies have suggested that high postprandial blood glucose levels are associated with a significant risk for the development of cardiovascular disease as well as a grave prognosis for these patients during acute coronary events. In addition, a number of reports reinforce the thesis that postprandial hyperglycemia is a risk factor for mortality. Our review summarizes the current knowledge on the relation between blood glucose, insulin levels, and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, relating these data to the new World Health Organization and American Diabetes Association classification of disturbed glucose metabolism.

June 2002
Naomi B. Zak, PhD, Sagiv Shifman, MSc, Anne Shalom, PhD and Ariel Darvasi, PhD, MPH

The complex genetic nature of many common diseases makes the identification of the genes that predispose to these ailments a difficult task. In this review we discuss the elements that contribute to the complexity of polygenic diseases and describe an experimental strategy for disease-related gene discovery that attempts to overcome these factors. This strategy involves a population-based case-control paradigm and makes use of a highly informative, homogeneous founder population, many of whose members presently reside in Israel. The properties of single nucleotide polymorphisms, which are presently the markers of choice, are discussed, and the technologies that are currently available for SNP[1] genotyping are briefly presented.

__________________________

[1] SNP = single nucleotide polymorphism

June 2001
Alessandra Della Rossa, MD, Antonio Tavoni, MD, Chiara Baldini, MD and Stefano Bombardieri, MD

Mixed cryoglobulinemia is a systemic vasculitis described as a triad characterized by purpura, weakness and arthralgias. Since the first description of the disease in 1964 by Meltzer and Franklin our understanding of its pathogenesis has increased considerably. The striking association of the disease with hepatitis C virus infection was initially noted in 1990. Since then, the disease has gained growing attention among investigators involved in the study of autoimmune systemic disorders because it represents one of the most intriguing models of autoimmunity triggered by a virus. Nonetheless, a number of answered questions still remain to be resolved and are reviewed in this article.

August 2000
Alex Zvulunov MD, Evgeny Medvedovsky MD, Amnon Biton MD, Shulamit Horowitz PhD and Daniel Vardy MD, MSc

Background: The frequent coexistence of two or more sexually transmitted diseases in one patient has been reported in non-dermatological literature, mostly in languages other than English. Identification of Ureaplasma urealyticum, Chlamydia trachomatis and Mycoplasma hominis in men with other STDs is important, since these bacteria have been implicated in a variety of diseases such as non-gonococcal urethritis, premature rupture of fetal membranes, and infertility in female sexual partners of these patients.

Objective: To assess the frequency of concomitant STD, particularly urethral colonization of U. urealyticum, C. trachomatis and M. hominis, in men consulting for suspected STD-related symptoms.

Methods: All patients attending our dermatology clinic for STD-related symptoms during a 12 month period in 1996–97 underwent systematic clinical and laboratory screening for syphilis, gonorrhea, NGU, prostatitis, genital herpes simplex infection, Condyloma acuminatum, urethral carriage of U. urealyticum, C. trachomatis and M. hominis, as well as serological screening for HIV, and hepatitis B and C infections.

Results: A total of 169 men with STD-related symptoms were enrolled in the study. The following clinical diagnoses were established: NGU in 109 men, C. acuminatum in 40, genital herpes simplex in 10, prostatitis in 7, latent syphilis in 6, primary syphilis in 1, and Behcet’s disease in 1. No clinical evidence of STD was found in 13 patients. Of the 169 patients, 39 (23%) had two or more concomitant STDs, of whom 27 (69%) had C. acuminatum associated with one or more of the urethral pathogens. A positive U. urealyticum culture was found in 67.5% (27/40) of the men with C. acuminatum as compared to 42% (40/96) among the patients with NGU who did not have C. acuminatum (P=0.004, X2 test). Conversely, the prevalence of C. acuminatum among patients positive for U. urealyticum was significantly higher than the prevalence among those who were negative – 27/75 (36%) vs. 13/94 (14%), P<0.0009, X2 test. About half of the U. urealyticum-positive patients with C. acuminatum had no clinical signs or symptoms of urethritis.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that patients with C. acuminatum should be assessed for U. urealyticum carriage and, when identified, their sexual contacts should be actively sought and treated.

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* Dr. Zvulunov is now with the Department of Pediatrics, Joseftal Hospital, Eilat, Israel.

STDs = sexually transmitted diseases

NGU = non-gonococcal urethritis

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