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עמוד בית
Fri, 01.12.23

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September 2023
Fabiola Atzeni MD PhD, Mariateresa Cirillo MD, Valeria D’Amico MD, Javier Rodríguez-Carrio PhD, Marco Corda MD, Alessandra Alciati MD

Background: Several studies have shown that patients with fibromyalgia present with neuroendocrine, inflammatory, and coagulation features linked to cardiovascular disease development. However, the exact profile of cardiovascular risk factors and events in fibromyalgia remains to be defined.

Objectives: To compare the profile of cardiovascular risk factors and events between fibromyalgia outpatients and the general population in Italy.

Methods: Cardiovascular risk factors and events in fibromyalgia females were collected using the criteria adopted in the CUORE Project.

Results: The study comprised 62 female fibromyalgia patients and 4093 female controls from 35 to 75 years of age. The prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, transient ischemic attack, and cardiovascular total burden was significantly higher in fibromyalgia females than in the general Italian population. No difference was found in blood fasting glucose, triglycerides, total and fractionated cholesterol levels, body mass index, and metabolic syndrome (MetS). The MetS rate was underestimated for methodological aspects.

Conclusions: Fibromyalgia is associated with an increased cardiovascular burden, probably through a specific risk factor profile.

March 2023
Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Howard Amital MD MHA

Fibromyalgia is one of the most significant causes of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, heavily burdening both individual patients and the healthcare system. Hence, reducing the prevalence of the disorder is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the etiology and the exact risk factors leading to the development of fibromyalgia are not clearly known, making its prevention difficult and challenging. Nevertheless, there are numerous risk markers that are associated with an increased probability of the disease, such as obesity, psychological and physical stress, exposure to traumatic life events, certain infectious disorders, and co-morbid rheumatic and psychiatric disorders. It is reasonable to assume that targeting preventable risk markers may suppress consequent emergence of fibromyalgia, but studies investigating primary prevention on fibromyalgia are scarce. In this review, we examined several studies that discuss proven methods to prevent fibromyalgia, including maintenance of a normal body mass index, regular physical exercise, and psychological techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

February 2023
Yarden Tenenbaum Weiss MD, Michael Friger PhD, Alon Haim MD, Eli Hershkovitz MD

Background: Pediatric patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) are commonly treated with daily multiple insulin injections or an insulin pump. They tend to have higher body mass index-standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS) than non-diabetic children.

Objectives: To identify patterns in the changes in BMI in the 3 years after T1DM diagnosis, and to discover factors that relate to excessive weight gain.

Methods: This retrospective study included clinical and laboratory data for 194 boys and girls aged 2–18 years at the time of diagnosis and at 1, 2, and 3 years after. Their BMI values were compared to non-diabetic children using BMI percentile and z-score (standard deviation) based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts.

Results: Both males and females had low mean BMI-SDS at diagnosis (-0.4499 ± 1.38743 male, 0.3050 ± 1.29887 female) that increased after 1 year (-0.0449 ± 1.14772 male, 0.1451 ± 0.98893 female). Lower glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) at 1 year correlated with higher BMI-SDS (r = -0.215, P = 0.011). No such correlation was found in the following 2 years. The daily dose of basal insulin correlated with higher BMI-SDS at 1 year (r = 0.183, P = 0.026) and 3 years (r = 0.297, P < 0.01). No association was found between the use of an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring and higher BMI-SDS.

Conclusions: BMI-SDS of children with T1DM was lower than average at the time of diagnosis and rose higher than average in the 3 years following. Higher BMI-SDS was not significantly associated with sex or ethnicity. The most prominent increase happened in the first year.

January 2023
Matan Elkan MD, Yarden Zohar MD, Shani Zilberman-Itskovich MD, Ronit Zaidenstein MD, Ronit Koren MD

Background: Higher body mass index (BMI) has been shown to be a protective factor from mortality in sepsis patients. Yet, whether this effect is different in the very elderly is currently unknown.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between BMI and sepsis outcomes in patients older and younger than 80 years of age.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients admitted with sepsis to Shamir Medical Center, Israel, was conducted. We compared patients older than and younger than 80 years of age with a BMI higher and lower than 25 kg/m² for hospitalization outcomes.

Results: Patients older than 80 years presented with multiple co-morbidities compared to younger patients, but with no difference between BMI groups. Similarly, hospitalization outcomes of functional deterioration, discharge to long-term care facilities, and readmission were not significantly different between BMI groups in the same age category. Mortality was significantly different between BMI groups in patients older than 80 years of age, with higher mortality in BMI < 25 kg/m²: in-hospital mortality (23.4% vs. 14.9%, P < 0.001), 30-day mortality (27.6% vs. 17.9%, P < 0.001), and 90-day mortality (43.4% vs. 28.9%, P < 0.001). This difference was not significant between the groups younger than 80 years old. On logistic regression, BMI over 25 kg/m² was protective in all mortality categories. Nevertheless, there was no significant interaction between age over 80 years to BMI over 25 kg/m² in all mortality outcomes.

Conclusions: Among patients hospitalized with sepsis, higher BMI is a protective factor against mortality in both elderly and younger patients.

December 2021
Sâmara Paula Ferreira Mota Colares MSc, Guilherme Moura Colares MD, Jozélio Freire de Carvalho MD PhD, and Carlos Ewerton Maia Rodrigues MD PhD

Background: Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a narrowing of the lumbar canal causing lower back pain, gluteal pain, and neurogenic claudication. LSS has been associated with cardiovascular co-morbidities. Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a pro-inflammatory condition involving a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, is increasingly prevalent worldwide.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of MetS in patients with LSS, compared to age- and sex-matched healthy controls, and to explore potential associations between MetS and LSS-related clinical parameters and cardiovascular risk factors.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study including 64 patients diagnosed as symptomatic LSS (NASS criteria) and 32 controls. MetS was diagnosed using the 2009 Harmonizing criteria adjusted for South Americans. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors for MetS. The level of statistical significance was set at 5%.

Results: The prevalence of MetS was significantly higher in the LSS group than in the control group (76.6% vs. 31.3%; P < 0.001). LSS patients displayed greater waist circumference (P = 0.003), blood glucose levels (P = 0.009) and arterial pressure (P < 0.001) than controls. The variables with independent influence on MetS in the logistic regression model were: diabetes (P = 0.008), blood glucose (P = 0.004), and body mass index (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: MetS was significantly more prevalent among LSS patients, and diabetes and elevated body mass index were found to be risk factors for MetS in these LSS patients

April 2021
Uri Gabbay MD MPH, Doron Carmi MD MHA, Aviva Mimouni-Bloch MD, Bat El Goldstein MD, Lital Keinan-Boker MD MPH, and Joseph Meyerovitch MD

Background: Evaluation of children's anthropometrics poses challenges due to age-related changes. The main focus is on height and weight. However, since weight is height-dependent, body mass index (BMI) is the best surrogate measurement of adiposity. Israel has not developed national growth tables; therefore, researchers and clinicians utilize either World Health Organization (WHO) or U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tables as benchmarks.

Objectives: To evaluate the anthropometrics of Israeli children benchmarked by CDC and WHO tables.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of the 1987–2003 birth cohort (age 4–18 years) from Clalit Health Services databases. Anthropometrics were retrieved twice: at study entry and one year later. We evaluated them as separate cohorts. Gender-specific age-matched median height and BMI were compared with CDC and WHO height and BMI tables.

Results: The study consisted of 15,650, mean age at study entry 9.5 years (range 4–18). Gender-specific median heights of the Israeli children were similar to CDC and WHO values at younger ages, but were slightly shorter than the age-matched CDC and WHO toward the age of final height in both cohorts. However, gender-specific median BMI was considerably and statistically significant higher compared to CDC and WHO values consistently along the entire age range in both cohorts.

Conclusions: Israeli children were slightly shorter toward the age of final height, compared to WHO and CDC. However, BMI in Israeli children was significantly higher compared to the CDC and WHO consistently along the age range, which raises an alarm regarding obesity patterns

June 2020
Lior Leibou MD, Tomer Perlok MD, Rivi Haiat Factor MD, Eyal Leibovitz MD, Jacob Frand MD, Stav Leibou, Dror Sadan MD and Mordechai Shimonov MD

Background: The effect of weight reduction following bariatric surgery is already well known.

Objectives: To investigate the effects of abdominoplasty on metabolic markers indicative of weight loss.

Methods: The authors prospectively enrolled consecutive obese patients after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. They were candidates for post-bariatric surgery abdominoplasty. The authors measured metabolic markers one day prior to surgery, 24 hours after, and 3 months following surgery. They recorded medical and demographic parameters.

Results: Sixteen patients were recruited for participation in the study. Mean age was 47 years and 88% of the patients were female. Bariatric surgery achieved a mean decline in body mass index of 13.8 kg/m2. All patients underwent abdominoplasty. Leptin and insulin levels were slightly increased at 3 months postoperative. No significant changes were observed in glucose, hemoglobin, or triglycerides throughout the study.

Conclusions: In a cohort of obese patients undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy followed by abdominoplasty, no significant changes were noted in a patient’s metabolic profiles. The results suggest that abdominoplasty has no effect on the metabolic markers tested in contrast to other reports; however, the cosmetic, behavioral, and psychological advantages of abdominoplasty are well established.

July 2018
Yeela Ben Naftali MD, Irit Chermesh MD, Ido Solt MD, Yolanda Friedrich MD and Lior Lowenstein MD

Background: Abnormal gestational weight gain (GWG) has been associated with adverse outcomes for mothers and their offspring.

Objectives: To compare the achievement of recommended GWG and lifestyle factors in women with high-risk versus normal-risk pregnancies.

Methods: Pregnant women hospitalized in a gynecological and obstetrics department and pregnant women who arrived at a community clinic for a routine checkup were interviewed and completed questionnaires relating to weight gain and lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking, diet, exercise). Recommended GWG was defined by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Results: GWG higher than ACOG recommendations was reported by 52/92 women (57%) with normal pregnancies and by 43/86 (50%) with high-risk pregnancies. On univariate analysis, characteristics associated with greater GWG were: current or past smoking, age > 40 years, pre-gestational body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2, low fruit intake, and high snack intake. High-risk pregnancies were associated with pre-gestational BMI > 25 kg/m2 (48% vs. 27%, P = 0.012), consumption of vitamins (84% vs. 63%, P = 0.001), avoidance of certain foods (54% vs. 21%, P = 0.015), receiving professional nutritionist consultation (65% vs. 11%, P = 0.001), and less physical activity (9% vs. 24%, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: A minority of pregnant women met the recommended GWG. No difference was noted between normal and high-risk pregnancies. High-risk population tended to have a less healthy lifestyle. Counseling to follow a healthy, balanced diet should be recommended, regardless of pregnancy risk, with particular attention to women at high risk of extra weight gain.

February 2018
Noam Shohat MD, Yossy Machluf PhD, Rivka Farkash BSc MPH, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA and Yoram Chaiter MD MSc

Background: Children and adolescents are commonly referred to an orthopedic surgeon to assess knee malalignment.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of genu varum and valgum among adolescents, and to identify correlates of these conditions.

Methods: A medical database of 47,588 candidates for military service presenting to the northern recruitment center during an 11 year period was analyzed to identify clinical knee alignment. Based on the standing skin surface intercondylar distance (ICD) or intermalleolar distance (IMD), the prevalence rates of genu varum (ICD ≥ 3 cm) and genu valgum (IMD ≥ 4 cm) were calculated. The association of gender, body mass index (BMI), and place of residence to knee alignment was studied.

Results: The rates of genu varum and valgum were 11.4% (5427) and 5.6% (2639), respectively. Genu varum was significantly more prevalent among males than females (16.2% vs. 4.4%, P < 0.001). It was also more prevalent among underweight subjects and less prevalent among overweight and obese subjects (P < 0.001). Genu valgum was significantly more prevalent among females than males (9.4% vs. 2.9%) and in overweight and obese subjects compared to those with normal BMI, while less prevalent in underweight subjects (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that genu varum was independently positively associated with male gender, underweight, and living in a rural area. Genu valgum was independently positively associated with female gender, overweight, and obesity.

Conclusions: This study establishes a modern benchmark for the cutoff and prevalence of genu varum and valgum as well as associations with gender and BMI.

January 2018
Oshrat E. Tayer-Shifman MD, Yigal Bar-On MSc, David Pereg MD and Alon Y. Hershko MD PhD

Background: Physical inactivity is a pivotal factor in the development and progression of various chronic diseases. However, most fitness facilities exclude unhealthy individuals. Therefore, an exercise program that admits such patients is imperative.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a fitness facility that admits adult subjects with multiple chronic diseases.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective screening of patient records from the Medical Fitness Facility at Meir Medical Center, Israel. Intake of subjects was done by a multidisciplinary team. For each individual, personalized diet and exercise plans were developed and patients attended the facility twice a week. Each participant was evaluated at enrolment and after 4 months for well-being, metabolic parameters, exercise capacity, and laboratory blood tests.

Results: A total of 838 individuals were enrolled, mean age 57 years. Their medical conditions included dyslipidemia (48.8%), hypertension (37.6%), and diabetes mellitus (24.9%), followed by musculoskeletal problems (arthropathy 19%, lower back pain 16.1%) and ischemic heart disease (13.4%). Less common diagnoses were vascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, and malignancy. Only 40.5% of participants adhered to the regimen with advanced age being the best predictor for adherence. At the follow-up visit, body mass index was lower (31.2 vs. 30.2 kg/m2, P <0.0001), exercise capacity increased (measured as maximal MET; 7.1 vs. 8.1, P < 0.0001), and well-being improved (measured by Short Form Survey [SF-36]; 69.3 vs. 76.0, P <0.0001).

Conclusions: We show that a fitness program for patients with multiple chronic diseases is feasible and effective in improving prognostic parameters, albeit significantly challenged by adherence limitations.

January 2016
Ruth Shaylor BMBS BMedSci, Fayez Saifi MD, Elyad Davidson MD and Carolyn F. Weiniger MB ChB

Background: Successful neuraxial block performance relies on assessment and palpation of surface landmarks, potentially challenging in patients with high body mass index (BMI). 

Objectives: To evaluate the use of ultrasound-assisted neuraxial bock in a non-obstetric population with BMI above versus below 30 kg/m2.

Methods: Healthy adult patients undergoing extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) under neuraxial block were observed in this quality assurance study. Prior to the neuraxial block, an ultrasound examination was performed to identify the puncture site. Neuraxial anesthesia block was performed under aseptic surgical conditions with the patient in the sitting position. Following block placement, external landmarks were palpated. Our primary study outcome was the number of attempts (skin insertions with the needle) after pre-puncture ultrasound identification of the insertion point, comparing patients with BMI above versus below 30 kg/m2. Our secondary outcome was assessment by palpation of external anatomical landmarks.

Results: Our study group included 63 consecutive patients undergoing neuraxial block for ESWL. Data were assessed according to BMI (above versus below 30 kg/m2). An overall success rate at the first attempt of 90.5% (CI 0.8–0.95) was achieved using ultrasound-guided neuraxial block. This block placement success rate was similar for all patients, regardless of BMI above versus below 30 kg/m2. In contrast, the ease of palpation of anatomic landmarks, P = 0.001, and the ease of palpation of iliac crest, P < 0.001, differed significantly between the patients above versus below 30 kg/m2. The reported verbal pain scores (VPS) due to block insertion was similar among all patients regardless of BMI category (above versus below 30 kg/m2).

Conclusions: We observed high success rates when ultrasound-assisted neuraxial block is performed, regardless of BMI above versus below 30 kg/m2, despite expected differences in surface landmark palpation. 


October 2015
Fruma Tzur MSc, Michal Chowers MD, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, Yoseph A. Mekori MD and Alon Y. Hershko MD PhD

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic sequel in people infected with HIV, especially following the advent of HAART. This may be a particular concern in immigrants due to lifestyle changes. 

Objectives: To characterize the prevalence of DM in HIV-infected Ethiopians in Israel, and to define the risk factors.

Methods: We retrospectively screened the records of 173 HIV-infected Ethiopians and 69 HIV-infected non-Ethiopian HIV patients currently registered at the HIV Clinic of Meir Medical Center. Data were also retrieved from 1323 non-HIV Ethiopians treated in the hospital between 2007 and 2012. The presence of DM was determined by family physician diagnosis as recorded in the hospital database or by the presence of one or more of the following: fasting glucose > 127 mg/dl, hA1C > 6.5% (> 48 mmol/mol), or blood glucose > 200 mg/dl. Population data and risk factors for DM were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses. 

Results: Among HIV-infected Ethiopian subjects, the prevalence of DM was 31% (54/173) compared to 4% (3/69) in HIV-infected non-Ethiopians and 8% (102/1323) in non-HIV-infected Ethiopians (P < 0.0001). The relatively increased prevalence of DM was age independent, but most noticeable in those under the median age (< 42 years). Body mass index (BMI) was a predictor for DM (OR 1.263, CI 1.104–1.444, P = 0.001), although its values did not vary between the two ethnic groups. 

Conclusions: HIV-infected Ethiopians are more likely to develop DM at low BMI values compared to non-Ethiopians. This observation questions the relevance of accepted BMI values in this population and suggests that preventive measures against DM be routinely taken in these subjects. 


August 2015
Rafael S. Carel MD DrPH, Inna Brodsky MPH and Giora Pillar MD MPH

Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common health problem with an estimated prevalence of 4% among men, many of whom are undiagnosed and untreated. 

Objectives: To compare demographic characteristics, health profiles, risk factors, and disease severity in Arab and Jewish men with OSA syndrome.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study we retrospectively analyzed clinical data from the medical files of men ≥ 22 years old who were referred to the Rambam Medical Center sleep clinic during the period 2001–2009 with a suspected diagnosis of OSA. OSA severity was measured using the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). Categorical variables were compared using the chi-square test. Relations between OSA severity and a set of independent risk factors were assessed by linear regression analysis.

Results: A total of 207 men were included (39 Arabs, 19%; 168 Jews, 81%). Arab participants were younger than their Jewish counterparts (45.5 ± 8.9 years vs. 49.8 ± 11.8, P = 0.04) and their body mass index (BMI) was higher (33.1 ± 5.1 vs. 30.0 ± 4.4, P = 0.001). OSA severity (AHI score) was higher among Arab men, with low, medium and high severity scores seen in 10%, 33% and 56% of Arab men vs 35%, 29% and 37% of Jewish men, respectively [T(198)=2.39, P = 0.02]. Mean blood oxygen saturation was comparable.

Conclusions: Arab men presenting for evaluation of sleep apnea harbored more severe OSA symptoms, were younger, and had higher BMI compared to Jewish men. Since OSA syndrome evolves for several years until it becomes severe, these findings suggest that Arab men seek medical assistance later than Jewish men with OSA.


February 2012
D. Boltin and Y. Niv
Eradication of Helicobacter pylori is accompanied by an array of metabolic and hormonal changes in the host. Weight gain following H. pylori eradication is a poorly understood phenomenon and probably results from an interaction between multiple factors. Ghrelin, a peptide hormone secreted by the stomach, is involved in the regulation of food intake and appetite and may account for some of these changes. Although several observational studies have demonstrated that H. pylori infection suppresses circulating ghrelin levels, it has yet to be proven that ghrelin levels increase following eradication. On the other hand, gastric expression of ghrelin, also suppressed by H. pylori, clearly increases following eradication. The determinants of plasma ghrelin levels remain elusive, as do the effects of eradication on these levels. Weight gain following H. pylori eradication may be attributable to changes in plasma and gastric ghrelin however, this hypothesis needs to be further investigated.
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