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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

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August 2017
Yael Yagur MD, Saja Anaboussi MD, Mordechai Hallak MD and Alon Shrim MD

Background: The prevalence of major malformations in the general population is estimated at 5% of all live births. Prenatal diagnosis is an important scientific tool that allows reliable consultation and improves pregnancy outcome. In 2008, congenital malformations were the leading cause of death in Muslim infants and the second cause of death in Jewish infants in Israel. It is known that folic acid consumption prior to pregnancy decreases the rate of several fetal malformations.

Objectives: To assess the folic acid consumption rate and to characterize variables associated with its use among pregnant women attending a rural medical center. 

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted at our institution. Pregnant women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy or within 3 days postpartum were interviewed. The main variable measured was the use of folic acid. Demographic variables and the rate of prenatal testing were assessed. A secondary analysis of the population that reported no consumption of folic acid was carried out. 

Results: Out of 382 women who participated in the study, 270 (71%) reported consumption of folic acid. Using a multivariate analysis model, we found that maternal education, planning of pregnancy, and low parity were independent predictors of folic acid consumption. Women who were not consuming folic acid tended to perform fewer prenatal tests during pregnancy.

Conclusions: High maternal educational level, planning of pregnancy, and low parity are related to high consumption rates of folic acid. Women who were not taking folic acid performed fewer prenatal tests during pregnancy. 

January 2016
Zaher Atamna MD, Bibiana Chazan MD, Orna Nitzan MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Hila Kfir MD, Merav Strauss PhD, Naama Schwartz PhD and Arie Markel MD

Background: Recent studies show that vaccination of health care workers (HCW) might reduce influenza transmission and mortality among hospitalized patients. No studies have compared the incidence of laboratory-proven influenza in vaccinated versus unvaccinated hospital HCW. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of influenza vaccination among hospital HCW and to examine the attitudes of this population towards influenza vaccination.

Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study between 1 January and 30 April 2014 of 1641 HCW at our medical center; 733 were vaccinated and 908 not vaccinated. A random sample of 199 subjects was obtained: 97 vaccinated and 102 non-vaccinated. Participating individuals were contacted on a weekly basis during the flu season and were asked to report any respiratory or flu symptoms and, if positive, to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for influenza. 

Results: In the general HCW population, vaccination was more frequent among physicians 298/498 (58%) than among nurses (324/862 (38%) and among males than females. Flu symptoms were reported by 20 of 199 participants, 13 in the non-vaccinated group (12.7%) and 7 in the vaccinated group (7.2%). A positive PCR test for influenza A virus was present in 4 of 20 people tested (20%). All positive cases were from the non-vaccinated group (P = 0.0953). 

Conclusions: Non-vaccinated HCW showed a higher, although not statistically significant, tendency for contracting laboratory-proven influenza than the vaccinated population. The main reasons for vaccination and non-vaccination were personal beliefs and habits. Education efforts are needed to improve compliance. Larger studies could further clarify this issue.

 

November 2014
Michael Arad MD Msc, Lorenzo Monserrat MD PhD, Shiraz Haron-Khun MSc, Jonathan G. Seidman PhD, Christine E. Seidman MD, Eloisa Arbustini MD PhD, Michael Glikson MD and Dov Freimark MD

Background: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a familial disease with autosomal dominant inheritance and age-dependent penetrance, caused primarily by mutations of sarcomere genes. Because the clinical variability of HCM is related to its genetic heterogeneity, genetic studies may improve the diagnosis and prognostic evaluation in HCM.

Objectives: To analyze the impact of genetic diagnosis on the clinical management of HCM.

Methods: Genetic studies were performed for either research or clinical reasons. Once the disease-causing mutation was identified, the management plan was reevaluated. Family members were invited to receive genetic counseling and encouraged to be tested for the mutation.

Results: Ten mutations in sarcomere protein genes were identified in 9 probands: 2 novel and 8 previously described. Advanced heart failure or sudden death in a young person prompted the genetic study in 8 of the 9 families. Of 98 relatives available for genotyping, only 53 (54%) agreed to be tested. The compliance was higher in families with sudden death and lower in what appeared to be sporadic HCM or elderly-onset disease. Among the healthy we identified 9 carriers and 19 non-carriers. In 6 individuals the test result resolved an uncertainty about "possible HCM." In several cases the genetic result was also used for family planning and played a role in decisions on cardioverter-defibrillator implantation.

Conclusions: Recurrence of a same mutation in different families created an opportunity to apply the information from the literature for risk stratification of individual patients. We suggest that the clinical context determine the indication for genetic testing and interpretation of the results.

October 2014
Yael Bar-On MD, Varda Shalev MD, Dahlia Weitzman PhD, Gabriel Chodick PhD and Howard Amital MD MHA
September 2012
R. Sukenik-Halevy, U. leil-Zoabi, L, Peled-Perez, J. Zlotogora, and S. Allon-Shalev

Background: Genetic screening tests for cystic fibrosis (CF), fragile X (FRAX) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have been offered to the entire Arab population of Israel in the last few years. Since 2008, screening for CF is provided free of charge, but for FRAX and SMA the screening is privately funded with partial coverage by complementary health insurance programs.

Objectives: To assess the compliance of Arab couples for genetic screening tests, and the factors that affect their decisions.

Methods: We analyzed compliance for genetic screening tests at the Emek Medical Center Genetic Institute, and in outreach clinics in four Arab villages. We enquired about the reasons individuals gave for deciding not to undergo testing. We also assessed the compliance of these individuals for the triple test (a screening test for Down syndrome).

Results: Of the 167 individuals included in our study, 24 (14%) decided not to be tested at all. Of the 143 (86%) who decided to be tested, 109 were tested for CF only (65%) and 34 (20%) for SMA and FRAX (as well as CF). The compliance rate for the triple test was 87%. Technical reasons, mainly financial issues, were the most significant factor for not undergoing all three tests.

Conclusions: The compliance of the Arab community for genetic testing for SMA and FRAX is extremely low. We believe that this low utilization of screening is due to economic reasons, especially when a complementary health plan has not been acquired, and largely reflects the perception that these tests are less important since they are privately funded.
 

December 2011
G.A. Weiss, Y. Goldich, E. Bartov and Z. Burgansky-Eliash

Background: Comorbid depression may play an important role in non-compliance with medical treatment among patients with chronic illnesses. Glaucoma is a potentially blinding chronic disease requiring life-long commitment to medical therapy. Patient's failure to adhere to anti-glaucoma treatment may lead to disease progression and visual loss.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of depressive symptoms in glaucoma patients and the association between these symptoms and non-compliance with anti-glaucoma therapy.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study. Compliance with pharmacotherapy was assessed with the Morisky Medication Adherence questionnaire (eight items). Screening for depression was performed by means of the CES-D scale (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale). The association between depression and compliance rates was analyzed.

Results: The study group comprised 76 glaucoma patients; 19.7% of the subjects were classified as "non-compliant" (Morisky cutoff < 10) and 21.1% suffered from depression (CES-D cutoff ≥ 16). We found a similar level of non-compliance when comparing depressed with non-depressed glaucoma patients. However, a significant correlation was observed between the level of depression and the level of non-compliance (P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Our study revealed a similar rate of depression in glaucoma patients and the general Israeli population. The presence of depression was not associated with the presence of non-compliance, yet the level of depression was associated with the level of non-compliance.

M. Zoabi, Y. Keness, N. Titler and N. Bisharat

Background: The compliance of hospital staff with guidelines for the active surveillance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Israel has not been determined.

Objectives: To evaluate the compliance of hospital staff with guidelines for the active surveillance of MRSA and assess its impact on the incidence of nosocomial MRSA bacteremia.

Methods: We assessed compliance with MRSA surveillance guidelines by assessing adherence to the screening protocol and reviewing medical and nursing charts of patients colonized with MRSA, and observed hand hygiene opportunities among health care workers and colonized patients. Rates of nosocomial MRSA bacteremia and of adherence with hand hygiene among overall hospital staff were obtained from archived data for the period 2001–2010.

Results: Only 32.4% of eligible patients were screened for MRSA carriage on admission, and 69.9% of MRSA carriers did not receive any eradication treatment. The mean rate of adherence to glove use among nurses and doctors was 69% and 31% respectively (P < 0.01) and to hand hygiene 59% and 41% respectively (P < 0.01). The hospital overall rate of adherence to hand hygiene increased from 42.3% in 2005 to 68.1% in 2010. Rates of nosocomial MRSA bacteremia decreased by 79.2%, from 0.48 (in 2001) to 0.1 (in 2010) per 1000 admissions (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The compliance of medical and nursing staff with guidelines for active MRSA surveillance was poor. The encouraging increase in adherence to hand hygiene and concomitant decrease in nosocomial MRSA bacteremia is gratifying. The deficiencies in compliance with MRSA infection control policy warrant an adjusted strategy based on the hospital resources.

September 2011
A.D. Heymann, R. Gross, H. Tabenkin, B. Porter and A. Porath

Background: A crucial part of controlling blood pressure is non-pharmaceutical treatment. However, only a few studies specifically address the question of hypertensive patients’ compliance with physicians’ recommendations for a healthy lifestyle.

Objectives: To explore factors associated with hypertensive patients’ compliance with lifestyle recommendations regarding physical activity, smoking cessation and proper diet.

Methods: We performed a secondary data analysis of a representative sample of 1125 hypertensive patients in Israel's two largest health funds. Data were collected in 20022003 by telephone interviews using structured questionnaires. The response rate was 77%. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was conducted.

Results: About half of the hypertensive patients reported doing regular exercise and adhering to a special diet; 13% were smokers. About half reported receiving counseling on smoking cessation and diet and a third on physical exercise. A quarter reported receiving explanations regarding self-measurement of blood pressure and signs of deterioration. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients’ beliefs about hypertension management, their knowledge on hypertension and its management, and physician counseling on a healthy lifestyle and self-care, have an independent effect on compliance with recommended lifestyle behaviors.

Conclusions: The low counseling rates suggest that there may be a need to improve physicians’ counseling skills so that they will be more confident and effective in delivering this service to their patients. A model based on educating both physicians and patients may contribute to improving the care of hypertensive patients.
 

January 2009
H. Gilutz, L. Novack, P. Shvartzman, J. Zelingher, D.Y. Bonneh, Y. Henkin, M. Maislos, R. Peleg, Z. Liss, G. Rabinowitz, D. Vardy, D. Zahger, R. Ilia, N. Leibermann and A. Porath

Background: Dyslipidemia remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in patients with coronary artery disease. The Computer-based Clinical Decision Support System provides an opportunity to close these gaps.

Objectives: To study the impact of computerized intervention on secondary prevention of CAD[1].

Methods: The CDSS[2] was programmed to automatically detect patients with CAD and to evaluate the availability of an updated lipoprotein profile and treatment with lipid-lowering drugs. The program produced automatic computer-generated monitoring and treatment recommendations. Adjusted primary clinics were randomly assigned to intervention (n=56) or standard care arms (n=56). Reminders were mailed to the primary medical teams in the intervention arm every 4 months updating them with current lipid levels and recommendations for further treatment. Compliance and lipid levels were monitored. The study group comprised all patients with CAD who were alive at least 3 months after hospitalization.

Results: Follow-up was available for 7448 patients with CAD (median 19.8 months, range 6–36 months). Overall, 51.7% of patients were adequately screened, and 55.7% of patients were compliant with treatment recommended to lower lipid level. A significant decrease in low density lipoprotein levels was observed in both arms, but was more pronounced in the intervention arm: 121.9 ± 34.2 vs. 124.3 ± 34.6 mg/dl (P < 0.02). A significantly lower rate of cardiac rehospitalizations was documented in patients who were adequately treated with lipid-lowering drugs, 37% vs. 40.9% (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This initial assessment of our data represent a real-world snapshot where physicians and CAD patients often do not adhere to clinical guidelines, presenting a major obstacle to implementing effective secondary prevention. Our automatic computerized reminders system substantially facilitates adherence to guidelines and supports wide-range implementation.






[1] CAD = coronary artery disease



[2] CDSS = clinical decision support system


March 2008
J. Kertes, M. Dushenat, J. Landes Vesterman, J. Lemberger, J. Bregman and N. Friedman

Background: Bisphosphonates are effective in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, yet their use is suboptimal.

Objectives: To measure bisphosphonate compliance among first-time users and identify factors associated with compliance.

Methods: We conducted a prospective follow-up of all women aged 45+ in the second largest health management organization in Israel who were prescribed bisphosphonates for the first time. The 4448 women were classified by drug dosage. Persistence and adherence measures of compliance were calculated for each woman over a 1 year period.

Results: Mean bisphosphonate persistence over a year was 216 days, with a mean medication possession ratio of 66%. Women whose medication was changed, whether from weekly to daily or daily to weekly, always had better persistence rates than those who consistently took the original dose. Persistence rates were as follows: 264 days for women who switched back and forth between daily and weekly doses, 229 days for those who switched from daily to weekly, 222 days for those who took the dosage weekly only, 191 days for those who switched to daily dosage, and 167 days for those who took the dosage daily only (P < 0.001). Switchers were also more likely to have adequate adherence rates (MPR[1] ≥ 80%): 81.3%, 76.6%, 67.5%, 61.3% and 52.2% respectively (P < 0.001). More than 20% of women stopped taking their medication within the first month. Women with higher supplemental insurance (offering significant discounts for weekly dose medications) had better persistence rates: 221 vs. 208 days (P = 0.03). Younger women and women on national pension insurance had the lowest persistence rates: 204 and 209 days respectively.

Conclusions: While weekly bisphosphonate takers had better compliance rates, persistence and adherence rates were inadequate for all groups. Changing medication to meet the needs of the patient, discounting weekly medications, and providing follow-up within the first months of prescription may promote compliance. 






[1] MPR = medication possession ratio


September 2007
O. Tamir, R. Peleg, J. Dreiher, T. Abu-Hammad, Y. Abu Rabia, M. Abu Rashid, A. Eisenberg, D. Sibersky, A. Kazanovich, E. Khalil, D. Vardy and P. Shvartzman

Background: Until three decades ago coronary heart disease and stroke were considered rare in the Israeli Bedouin population. Today, this population shows increasing high prevalence compared to the Jewish population.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of diagnosed cardiovascular risk factors among the Bedouin (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia), and to assess compliance with follow-up tests and drug treatment.

Methods: The study included all listed patients aged 20 years and older in eight clinics in major Bedouin towns, and in two large teaching clinics in Beer Sheva (Jewish population). Risk factor data were extracted from the clinics' computerized databases. For those diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes or dyslipidemia, drug purchasing data were collected from the pharmacy database to determine compliance with treatment, and from the central laboratory mainframe (HbA1c and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol) to evaluate follow-up and control.

Results: A significantly higher prevalence of diabetes in all age groups was found in the Bedouin population compared to the Jewish population; age-adjusted results show a prevalence of 12% vs. 8% respectively (P < 0.001). The prevalence of dyslipidemia and age-adjusted hypertension was lower among Bedouins (5.8% vs. 18.2%, P < 0.01 and 17% vs. 21%, P < 0.001 respectively). Two-thirds of hypertensive Bedouin patients and 72.9% of diabetic Bedouin patients were not compliant with treatment. For dyslipidemia only 10.4% of the Bedouins were compliant compared with 28.2% in the Jewish population (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Compliance with drug therapy and follow-up tests was found to be a major problem in the Bedouin population.
 

May 2007
D. Starobin, M. Bargutin, I. Rosenberg, A. Yarmolovsky, T. Levi and G. Fink

Background: Asthma control and treatment compliance are widely investigated issues around the world. Studies have demonstrated relatively low asthma compliance and control in 40–90% of asthma patients in different countries. There are no available data on the Israeli adult asthmatic population

Objectives: To investigate the level of asthma control and compliance in adult asthmatic patients.

Methods: This cross-sectional study of consecutive adult asthmatic patients visiting the pulmonary clinic used a combined questionnaire that included demographics, data on asthma severity and management, and asthma control and compliance scores. Each patient was interviewed and questionnaires were filled out during a routine visit.

Results: The study group comprised 142 males (35.4%) and 259 females (64.6%). Compliance was found optimal in 8 patients (2%), fair in 146 (36%), partial in 156 (39%) and poor in 92 (23%) of the participating asthmatic patients. Asthma control was found optimal in 26 (7%), fair in 124 (31%), partial in 122 (30%) and poor in 129 (32%) patients. Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish origin, higher level of education, and treatment protocol including either single fixed-dose inhalers or short-acting beta-agonist bronchodilators significantly improved compliance in our cohort. Socioeconomic status and compliance were found to positively affect asthma control, whereas active smoking negatively affected asthma control in the study patients.

Conclusions: The figures of optimal asthma control and compliance to treatment in Israeli adult asthmatics are low and worse than reported in other studies abroad.
 

December 2006
A. Nemets, I. Isakov, M. Huerta, Y. Barshai, S. Oren and G. Lugassy
 Background: Thrombosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in polycythemia vera. Hypercoagulability is principally due to hyperviscosity of the whole blood, an exponential function of the hematocrit. PV[1] is also associated with endothelial dysfunction that can predispose to arterial disease. Reduction of the red cell mass to a safe level by phlebotomy is the first principle of therapy in PV. This therapy may have some effect on the arterial compliance in PV patients.

Objectives: To estimate the influence of phlebotomies on large artery (C1) and small artery compliance (C2) in PV patients by using non-invasive methods.

Methods: Short-term hemodynamic effects of phlebotomy were studied by pulse wave analysis using the HDI-Pulse Wave CR2000 (Minneapolis, MN, USA) before and immediately after venesection (300–500 ml of blood). We repeated the evaluation after 1 month to measure the long-term effects.

Results: Seventeen PV patients were included in the study and 47 measurements of arterial compliance were performed: 37 for short-term effects and 10 for long-term effects. The mean large artery compliance (C1) before phlebotomy was 12.0 ml/mmHg x 10 (range 4.5–28.6), and 12.6 ml/mmHg x 10 (range 5.2–20.1) immediately after phlebotomy (NS). The mean small artery compliance (C2) before and immediately after phlebotomy were 4.4 mg/mmHg x 10 (range 1.2–14.3) and 5.5 mg/mmHg x 10 (range 1.2–15.6) respectively (delta C2–1.1, P < 0.001). No difference in these parameters could be demonstrated in the long-term arm.

Conclusions: Phlebotomy immediately improves arterial compliance in small vessels of PV patients, but this effect is short lived.


 





[1] PV = polycythemia vera


April 2005
J. Kogan, S. Turkot, B. Golzman and S. Oren
Background: Hemodynamic changes, including systemic vascular resistance, in cirrhotic patients during massive paracentesis have been reported, but large and small artery compliance has not yet been investigated.

Objective: To investigate hemodynamic variables, including small and large artery compliance, in cirrhotic patients during total paracentesis.

Methods: The study included 15 cirrhotic patients admitted for an episode of tense diuretic-resistant ascites. Hemodynamic variables including vascular compliance were measured using an HDI pulse wave cardiovascular profiling instrument CR-2000. The variables were measured in these patients before, immediately after and 24 hours following large volume (mean 5.6 L) paracentesis.

Results: Cardiac output increased immediately after paracentesis due to increment in stroke volume, with no change in heart rate. However, 24 hours later the cardiac output decreased to below the basal level. The fluctuation was statistically significant (P < 0.05). There was no change in large artery compliance, but small artery compliance increased after paracentesis (P < 0.05) and partially returned to the basal level after 24 hours. Systemic vascular resistance measurement showed the same pattern of change: vasodilatation occurred during paracentesis and was attenuated 24 hours later.

Conclusions: Large volume paracentesis with albumin replacement caused an accentuation of the vasodilatation (small but not large artery) already present in these patients. This may be the first sign of enhanced vasodilatation due to large volume paracentesis before the clinical expression of impaired hemodynamics and deterioration of renal function.

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