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עמוד בית
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October 2022
Ofira Zloto, M.D., Oded Sagiv, M.D., Ayelet Priel, M.D., Tali Cukierman-Yaffe, M.D., Amir Tirosh, M.D. , Nancy Agmon-Levin, M.D., Shiran Madgar, M.D., Tal Serlin, M.D., Halit Winter, M.D. Ruth Huna-Baron, M.D., Tamara Wygnanski-Jaffe, M.D., Guy Ben Simon, M.D.

Background: Little is known about the success of multidisciplinary thyroid eye disease (TED) clinic.

Objectives: To present the characteristics, treatments, and outcomes of patients treated in a multidisciplinary TED clinic.

Methods: A medical record review of all patients who attended a TED clinic was performed. Data included demographics, medical history, laboratory tests, visual function tests, ocular examinations, clinical activity score (CAS), and assessment of quality-of-life (QOL).

Results: Clinic visits included 132 patients seen during 385 appointments at a TED clinic (mean 12 appointments per patient). Management of TED included medical treatments for 48 patients (36.3%) and surgical treatment for 56 (42.4%). There was a positive significant correlation between the CAS and thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) activity at the first visit and at the last follow-up visit (P < 0.01 and P < 0.02, respectively). However, no correlation was found between the CAS and the thyroid-stimulating hormone levels or between the free triiodothyronine (fT3) and fT4 levels at the first or last visit. There was a significant negative correlation between the CAS and color vision (-0.347, P < 0.01, Pearson correlation) at the first visit, but not between the CAS and visual acuity and visual field at either the first or last visit. Changes in the QOL and the CAS scores were significantly negatively correlated (-0.240, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Treatment and management decisions for TED should be based on multiple parameters including clinical examinations by ophthalmologists and endocrinologists, laboratory tests, and CAS and QOL scores.

July 2022
Adnan Zaina MD, Ilan Shimon MD, Ali Abid MD,Eldad Arad MD,Elzbieta Baron MD, Elena Golden MD, Michal Gershinsky MD, Nariman Saba Khazen MD, Mohammed Abu Saleh MD, Noga Roguin Maor MD, Orit Bardicef MD, Yulia Pauker MD and Sameer Kassem MD

Background: National registries for acromegaly and population-based data make an important contribution to disease understanding and management. Data concerning the epidemiology of acromegaly in Israel is scanty.

Objectives: To evaluate the epidemiology of acromegaly in different industrial areas in northern Israel.

Methods: Data from adult patients diagnosed with acromegaly from 2000 to 2020, living in Haifa and the western Galilee District were collected using the electronic database and medical records from Clalit Health Services. The prevalence of acromegaly in three distinct areas and overall were reported. In addition, other epidemiological data including associated co-morbidities, pituitary tumor size, and treatment modalities were collected.

Results: We identified 77 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of acromegaly. The overall prevalence was 155 cases/106 inhabitants without statistically significant differences between the three areas. The mean age at diagnosis was 50 ± 1.8 years and the male to female ratio was 1.1. Macroadenoma and microadenoma were identified in 44 (57%) and 25 (33%), respectively. The frequency rate of acromegaly-associated co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, carpal tunnel syndrome, and osteoporosis was similar to previously reported studies. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 29 ± 5.6 kg/m2 .Obesity, with a BMI ≥ of 30 kg/m2, was found in 29 patients (38%). The majority of patients underwent transsphenoidal surgery 67 (87%). Normalized insulin-like growth factor 1 was reported in 64 (83%).

Conclusions: A high prevalence of acromegaly was found in northern Israel. The pituitary microadenoma frequency rate is the highest reported.

June 2015
Orna Baron-Epel PHD, Waleed Shalata PHD and Melbourne F. Hovell PHD

Abstract:

Background: Waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) is common in some populations and may add increased risk for tobaccorelated diseases.

Objectives: To assess the rates of WTS and risk practices associated with WTS in three distinct populations in Israel: long-term Jewish residents (LTJR), immigrants from the former Soviet Union (fSU), and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 899 randomly selected participants, age 30–65 years, using face-toface interviews with subjects from the three population groups in Israel. Respondents reported WTS, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and socioeconomic characteristics.

Results: Among men, WTS at least once a week was reported by 4.8% of LTJR, 3.2% of fSU immigrants and 20.3% of Arabs. Lower rates were reported among women of all groups. The younger, less educated men and the younger unmarried women had higher odds of WTS. LTJR who smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol had higher odds of WTS [odds ratio (OR) 32.6, confidence interval (CI) 9.36–113.6; OR = 3.57, CI =1.48–8.63, respectively], compared to non-smokers and non-drinkers. fSU immigrants who smoked cigarettes had higher odds of WTS (OR = 3.40, CI = 0.99–11.7) compared to non-smokers. Among Arabs, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption were not associated with WTS.

Conclusions: Arabs are more likely than other Israeli populations to engage in WTS. This behavior may add to increased inequalities in rates of tobacco-induced diseases between Arabs and Jews in Israel. Including WTS in the policies for smoke-free public places is called for.

November 2011
M. Kinori, T. Wygnanski-Jaffe and R. Huna-Baron

Background: Pediatric functional visual loss (FVL) is the loss of vision in a child that cannot be explained by an organic pathology. In the last decade, only a few studies on pediatric FVL have reported long-term patient follow-up.

Objectives: To report the characteristics of pediatric FVL with long-term follow-up in Israeli children.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of the medical records of patients with FVL from 2000 to 2010. Only children with adequate follow-up (at least 2 months) were included.

Results: Of the 12 patients identified, 9 were females. Mean patient age was 10.5 ± 4.4 years (range 3.5–17 years). Most children (75%) had bilateral visual loss. One patient had a history of psychiatric illness and in three patients a preceding psychosocial event/trauma was identified. Brain imaging and electrophysiology testing (if done) were normal in all cases. No medications were prescribed to any of the patients, and all were reassured that there was a high chance of spontaneous resolution. The follow-up time was 2–108 months (mean 23.8 months, median 6). During the follow-up period 9 of the 12 had complete resolution and 2 had relief of symptoms. Three patients reported a recurrence of symptoms. No organic disease was ever diagnosed in this group.

Conclusions: FVL may occur in all age groups, including children. In cases of visual loss, it is usually bilateral and can involve both acuity and visual field loss. In the present report most of the patients experienced normalization or relief of their symptoms without medical treatment.
 

December 2010
O. Baron-Epel, L. Keinan-Boker, R. Weinstein and T. Shohat

Background: During the last few decades much effort has been invested into lowering smoking rates due to its heavy burden on the population's health and on costs for the health care services.

Objectives: To compare trends in smoking rates between adult Arab men and Jewish men and women during 2000–2008.

Methods: Six random telephone surveys were conducted by the Israel Center for Disease Control in 2000–2008 to investigate smoking rates. The number of respondents was 24,976 Jews men and women and 2564 Arab men. The percent of respondents reporting being current smokers was calculated for each population group (Jews and Arabs) by age, gender and education, and were studied in relation to time.

Results: Among Jewish men aged 21–64 smoking declined during 2000–2008 by about 3.5%. In the 21–44 age group this decline occurred only among respondents with an academic education. Among Jewish women this decline also occurred at ages 21–64, and in the 45–64 age group this decline was due only to a decline in smoking among those with an academic education. Among Arab men aged 21–64 an increase in smoking rates of about 6.5% was observed among both educated and less educated respondents.

Conclusions: Smoking prevalence is declining in Israel among Jews, but not among Arab men. The larger decrease in smoking rates among academics will, in the future, add to the inequalities in health between the lower and higher socioeconomic status groups and between Arabs and Jews. This calls for tailored interventions among the less educated Jews and all Arab men.

September 2007
J. Baron, D. Greenberg, Z. Shorer, E. Herskhovitz, R. Melamed and M. Lifshitz
November 2005
O. Baron-Epel, A. Haviv, N. Garty, D. Tamir and M.S. Green
 Background: Increasing physical activity and thereby reducing a sedentary lifestyle can lower the risk of chronic diseases. Raising the population's involvement in physical activity is a major challenge for public health and healthcare services.

Objectives: To identify subpopulations with a sedentary lifestyle and low levels of adherence to physical activity recommendations.

Methods: The Israel Center for Disease Control performed two national surveys during 2002–2003, interviewing 7,307 Jewish Israelis and 1,826 Arab Israelis over age 21. Respondents were asked if they engaged in physical activity lasting at least 20 consecutive minutes, and if so how frequently: less than once a week, once or twice a week, nearly every day or every day.

Results: Arab respondents were less physically active than Jewish respondents after adjusting for gender, age, level of religiosity, marital status, education, self-reported health, smoking, body mass index, and type of survey. Multiple logistic regression analysis run separately for Jews and Arabs found a more sedentary lifestyle, in both groups, among women, the less educated, those who were married and those with poor subjective health. Among Jews, younger people, increased religiosity, smoking and high BMI[1] were associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Conclusions: The Jewish population is in need of more targeted and specific interventions for lower adhering subpopulations, such as women, the less educated and those with other risk factors. In the Arab population a more thorough understanding of the benefits of physical activity is needed; however, it seems that a general intervention is required to decrease the prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle all round.


 


[1] BMI = body mass index


December 2001
Orna Baron-Epel PhD MPH and G. Kaplan MA

Background: A mass influx of immigrants from the former Soviet Union to western countries and Israel followed the demise of the Soviet Bloc at the beginning of the 1990s. It was expected that these immigrants would have a higher morbidity and mortality rate similar to that in Russia.

Objectives: To measure and compare self-reported diseases, subjective health and health services utilization of a representative sample of veteran Israeli Jews and immigrants from the former USSR.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of Israeli adults was performed by telephone interviews. The survey included 793 Israeli Jews, of whom 124 were immigrants from the former USSR who arrived in Israel after 1989 (response rate 52%).

Results: The immigrants reported a higher rate of diseases and sub-optimal health after adjustment for other variables. However, no excess in health services utilization was reported. A time trend of reporting sub-optimal subjective health was observed: the longer the immigrants spent in Israel the more their reporting patterns resembled those of immigrants who arrived in Israel before 1970. Those who arrived after 1994 more frequently reported having a chronic disease.

Conclusions: Acculturation seems to have been the main effect on the immigrants' health, together with a healthy migrant effect at the beginning of the 1990s. The immigrants' health was worse in the later years of the immigration wave, partially reflecting the poor state of health in Russia compared to Israel.
 

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