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עמוד בית
Sat, 18.05.24

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January 2013
U. Yoel, T. Abu-Hammad, A. Cohen, A. Aizenberg, D. Vardy and P. Shvartzman
 Background: The rate of adherence to treatment for diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HTN) and lipid metabolic disorder (LMD) is significantly lower in the Bedouin population compared with the Jewish population in southern Israel.

Objectives: To investigate the reasons for non-adherence associated with cardiovascular risk factors among Bedouins.

Methods: We identified Bedouin patients with HTN, DM or LMD from medical records and randomly selected 443 high adherent and 403 low adherent patients. Using trained interviewers we conducted in-depth structured interviews regarding knowledge and attitudes to chronic illness and its treatment, health services evaluation, and socio-demographic factors.

Results: The study population included 99 high and 101 low adherent patients. More low adherent patients agreed that traditional therapy can replace prescribed medications for DM, HTN or LMD (47% vs. 26%, P < 0.01), and 10% used only traditional medications. Also, more low adherent patients believed that the side effects of prescribed drugs are actually worse than the disease itself (65% vs. 47%, P < 0.05), and 47% cited this as a reason for discontinuing drug treatment (47% vs. 31%, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that in this minority population the basis for non-adherence derives directly from patients' perceptions of chronic disease and drug treatment. A focused intervention should emphasize the importance of early evidence-based drug therapy with open patient-physician dialogue on the meaning of chronic disease and the side effects of prescribed drugs.

April 2009
D. Antonelli, K. Suleiman and Y. Turgeman

Background: The incidence of cardiovascular disease increases with age, and visits by elderly patients to the outpatient cardiac clinic are becoming more frequent.

Objectives: To characterize cardiovascular pathologies of patients 70 years of age and over who visit the outpatient cardiac clinic.

Methods: We investigated cardiovascular pathologies, risk factors, and medications in new patients over a 2 month period.

Results: The study population comprised 290 patients: 139 (47.9%) were older than 70 years. Among the cardiovascular pathologies, aortic stenosis, angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, s/p coronary artery bypass graft, and stroke were more frequent in the elderly patients than in those under age 70. Among the risk factors for ischemic heart disease, only hypertension was more frequent in the elderly population, whereas fewer in this group were active smokers. The mean number of medications administered was 3.51 ± 1.63 among the elderly patients compared to 1.99 ± 1.71 among the younger ones (P = 0.0001). Beta-blockers were the most frequently used cardiovascular drugs both in the elderly (59.7%) and in the younger patients (43%) (P = 0.0046).

Conclusions: Patients over age 70 represent about half the visits in our outpatient clinic. Their multiple cardiovascular pathologies and therapeutic requirements raise the issue of developing the cardiology service to meet the special needs of geriatric patients.
 

February 2009
R. Dankner, G. Geulayov, N. Farber, I. Novikov, S. Segev and B-A. Sela

Background: High levels of plasma homocysteine constitute a risk for cardiovascular disease. Physical activity, known to reduce CVD[1] risk, has been related to levels of Hcy[2]. Recently, higher Hcy was shown to be associated with lower cardiovascular fitness in women but not in men.

Objectives: To further explore the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and plasma total homocysteine levels in a large cohort of adult males and females.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 2576 fitness and Hcy examinations in adults (62% males) aged 30–59 years, randomly drawn from a population undergoing a periodic health examination in the Sheba Medical Center's Executive Screening Survey. Blood tests were collected for tHcy[3] and a sub-maximal exercise test was performed to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness. Information on CVD/CVD risk factors (coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular accident, diabetes, hypertension or dyslipidemia) was self-reported.

Results: Mean tHcy plasma levels were 14.4 ± 7.7 and 10.2 ± 3.0 µmol/ml, and mean maximal oxygen uptake 36.5 ± 11.7 and 29 2 ± 9.5 ml/kg/min for males and females, respectively. A multiple regression analysis, adjusting for age, body mass index and CVD/CVD risk factors, showed no association between cardiorespiratory fitness and level of tHcy in males (P = 0.09) or in females (P = 0.62).

Conclusions: In this sample no relationship was found between level of cardiorespiratory fitness and plasma tHcy in men or women. The inconsistency of findings and the small number of studies warrant further research of the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and tHcy, an association that may have clinical implications for the modifications of cardiovascular risk factors.






[1] CVD = cardiovascular disease



[2] Hcy = homocysteine



[3] tHcy = total homocysteine


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


February 2002
Netta Notzer, PhD and Ruth Abramovitz, MA

Background: The importance of health promotion and disease prevention in health policy and clinical practice is widely accepted in many countries. However, a large number of medical schools do not dedicate a significant part of their curriculum to these aspects. In Israel, there are no reports on the training of the future physician towards his or her role as health promoter in general, or in the areas of cardiovascular and cancer diseases specifically.

Objectives: To examine the preparation of Israel medical students for the role of health promoter in cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Methods: The study was carried out over 2 years in two of the four medical schools in Israel: the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva. The students (n=172, 70% response rate) were surveyed during 1999-2000 by means of a questionnaire, which included assessment of their training towards the role of health promoter, their clinical experiences and exposure to patients at different stages of illnesses at various medical sites, and the specific skills and relevant knowledge they acquired.

Results: Most of the students’ learning experiences occurred in hospitals with patients at the treatment stage and little time was dedicated to prevention, especially in the community. They demonstrated better knowledge, skills and satisfaction with their learning experiences in CVD than in cancer; and reported having insufficient exposure to several common cancer diseases and lacking examining skills for early detection of cancer. The students in Beer Sheva had significantly more interaction with patients at different stages of CVD and acquired more examination skills than the Tel Aviv students.

Conclusions: A change in the curriculum is urgently needed: namely training medical students in community settings and preparing them to promote the well-being of their patients, including prevention. Attention should be given to launching new learning modes in the pre-clinical and clinical curriculum. We propose that: a) pre-clinical courses include prevention techniques in CVD and cancer, problems of cancer patients, and some examining skills; and b) the clinical phase should integrate oncology concepts and total cancer and CVD care into existing clerkships in the hospitals and in the community.
 

December 2000
Eli Magen, MD and Reuven J. Viskoper, MD
 Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems play a critical role in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases, and inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme have proven effective for the treatment of these diseases. Since angiotensin II receptor antagonists can inhibit the effects of angiotensin II via ACE-independent pathways, e.g., chymase, they were considered to be more effective than ACEIs. On the other hand, ACE inhibitors can increase bradykinin, and thus, nitric oxide, which may cause potent cardioprotection, inhibition of smooth muscle proliferation and attenuation of inflammation mechanisms. It appears that angiotensin II receptor antagonists and ACEIs may mediate cardioprotection in different ways. This is the rationale to explore the possibility of a combined administration of both drugs for the treatment of chronic heart failure and other cardiovascular pathology. In this review we try to analyze the role of ACE, kinins and chymase inhibition in the pathophysiology and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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