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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.04.24

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February 2024
Ela Giladi MD, Roy Israel MD, Wasseem Daud MD, Chen Gurevitz MD, Alaa Atamna MD, David Pereg MD, Abid Assali MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: The use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 monoclonal antibodies (PCSK9 mAbs) is emerging for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, real-world data is lacking for their use among elderly patients.

Objective: To define the characteristics of elderly patients treated with PCSK9 mAbs and to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability compared with younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (≥ 75 years at enrollment) treated with PCSK9 mAbs for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention. Data were retrieved for demographic and clinical characteristics; indications for treatment; agents and dosages; concomitant lipid lowering treatment; LDL-C levels at baseline, 6, 12 months, and at the end of follow up. Data also included achieving LDL-C target levels and adverse effects.

Results: The cohort included 91 elderly patients and 92 younger patients, mean age 75.2 ± 3.76 and 58.9 ± 7.4 years (P < 0.0001). Most patients (82%, 80%) were in high/very high-risk categories. For almost all (98%, 99%), the indication was statin intolerance, with PCSK9 mAb monotherapy the most prevalent regimen. The average follow-up was 38.1 ± 20.5 and 30.9 ± 15.8 months (P = 0.0258). Within 6 months the LDL-C levels were reduced by 57% in the elderly group and by 59% in the control group (P = 0.2371). Only 53% and 57% reached their LDL-C target levels. No clinically significant side effects were documented.

Conclusion: PCSK9 mAbs have similar effects and are well tolerated among elderly patients as in younger patients.

December 2023
Mohamad Suki MD, Fadi Abu-baker MD, Amani Beshara MD, Baruch Ovadia MD, Oren Gal MD, Yael Kopelman MD

Background: With age, colorectal cancer (CRC) prevalence rises. The elderly (> 75 years), and the very elderly (> 85 years) are especially vulnerable. The advantages of screening must be assessed in the context of diminished life span and co-morbidities.

Objective: To compare CRC findings in colonoscopies that were performed following a positive fecal occult blood test/fecal immunochemical test (FOBT/FIT) in both elderly and very elderly age groups with those of younger patients.

Methods: We identified colonoscopies conducted between 1998 and 2019 following a positive stool test for occult blood in asymptomatic individuals. A finding of malignancy was compared between the two patient age groups. Furthermore, a sub-analysis was performed for positive malignancy findings in FOBT/FIT among patients > 85 years compared to younger than < 75 years.

Results: We compared the colonoscopy findings in 10,472 patients: 40–75 years old (n=10,146) vs. 76–110 years old (n=326). There was no significant difference in prevalence of CRC detection rate between the groups following positive FOBT/FIT (2.1% vs. 2.7%, P = 0.47). Similar results for non-significant differences were obtained in the sub-analysis compared to malignancy detection rates in the very elderly 0% (n=0) vs. 2.1% for < 75 years old (n=18), P = 0.59.

Conclusions: Although the prevalence of CRC increases with age, no significant increase in the detection rate of CRC by FOBT was found in either the elderly or very elderly age groups. Screening colonoscopies in elderly patients should be performed only after careful consideration of potential benefits, risks, and patient preferences.

November 2023
Amit Frenkel MD MHA, Ran Abuhasira MD PhD, Lior Fisher Med.Sc, Yoav Bichovsky MD, Alexander Zlotnik MD PhD, Victor Novack MD PhD, Moti Klein MD MPH

Background: Younger patient age and relatively good prognosis have been described as factors that may increase caregiver motivation in treating patients with septic shock in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Objectives: To examine whether clinical teams tended to achieve unnecessarily higher map arterial pressure (MAP) values in younger patients.

Methods: We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study of patients presenting with septic shock who were treated with noradrenaline and hospitalized in a general ICU between 2006 and 2018. The patients were classified into four age groups: 18-45 (n=129), 46-60 (n=96), 61-75 (n=157), and older than 75 years (n=173). Adjusted linear mixed models and locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (LOWESS) curves were used to assess associations and potential non-linear relationships, respectively, of age group with MAP and noradrenaline dosage.

Results: The cohort included 555 patients. An inverse relation was observed between average MAP value and age. Among patients aged 18–45 years, the average MAP was 4.7 mmHg higher (95% confidence interval 3.4–5.9) than among patients aged > 75 years (P-value <0.001) after adjustment for sex, death in the intensive care unit, and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores.

Conclusions: Among patients with septic shock, the titration of noradrenaline by staff led to a higher average MAP for younger patients. Although the MAP target is equal for all age groups, staff may administer noradrenaline treatment according to a higher target of MAP due to attitudes toward patients of different ages, despite any evidence that such practice is beneficial.

October 2023
Andreza Rosa Cabral MS, Josy Davidson PhD, Jozélio Freire de Carvalho MD PhD

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease characterized by synovitis leading to polyarthritis. It affects 1% of the population [1]. Genetic and environmental factors are linked to the development of RA and include the presence of HLA-DR4 and shared epitope, and smoking is the primary representative of the negative environmental factor [1].

However, RA mainly affects middle age. Late-onset RA that initiates after 60 years is sometimes named elderly onset rheumatoid arthritis (EORA) [2]. This disease's prevalence varied from 2.03% to 2.34% in a large study in the United States. EORA affects more women than men [1]. However, to the best of our knowledge, no patient description of RA initiated at 97 years of age has been described.

June 2023
Chen Buxbaum MD, Mark Katson MD, Moshe Herskovitz MD

Background: The annual incidence of epilepsy increases with age, from nearly 28 per 100,000 by the age of 50 years to 139 per 100,000 by the age of 75 years. Late-onset epilepsy differs from epilepsy at a young age in the prevalence of structural-related epilepsy, types of seizures, duration of seizures, and presentation with status epilepticus.

Objectives: To check the response to treatment in patients with epilepsy with age of onset of 50 years and older.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study. The cohort included all patients referred to the Rambam epilepsy clinic between 1 November 2016 and 31 January 2018 with epilepsy onset at age 50 years or older and at least one year of follow-up at the recruitment time point and epilepsy not caused by a rapidly progressive disease.

Results: At recruitment, most patients were being treated with a single antiseizure medication (ASM); 9 of 57 patients (15.7%) met the criteria for drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). The mean duration of follow-up was 2.8 ± 1.3 years. In an intention-to-treat analysis, 7 of 57 patients (12.2%) had DRE at the last follow-up.

Conclusions: Late-onset epilepsy, which is defined as a first diagnosis in patients older than 50 years of age, is easy to control with monotherapy. The percentage of DRE in this group of patients is relatively low and stable over time.

January 2023
Asher Korzets MB BS, Ze’ev Korzets MB BS, Boris Zingerman MD

We clarified the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges associated with pseudohypertension in very elderly patients. Pseudohypertension is diagnosed when cuff blood pressure measurements for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure are significantly higher than direct intra-arterial blood pressure recordings. Pseudohypertension is considered a manifestation of combined intimal and medial arterial calcifications. Non-invasive diagnosis is extremely difficult, but pseudohypertension should be considered in certain groups of very elderly hypertensive patients. Importantly, most of the very elderly patients diagnosed with pseudohypertension present with hypertension, especially isolated systolic hypertension, and this condition should be treated. Treatment must be undertaken cautiously (start low, go slow), with a recommended target blood pressure ≤ 150/80 mmHg. Orthostatism should be measured routinely, both by the patient and the attending physician.

November 2022
Johad Khoury MD, Itai Ghersin MD, Eyal Braun MD, Adi Elias MD, Doron Aronson MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, Fadel Bahouth MD

Background: Current guidelines for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) are based on studies that have excluded or underrepresented older patients.

Objectives: To assess the value of guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) in HFrEF patients 80 years of age and older.

Methods: A single-center retrospective study included patients hospitalized with a first and primary diagnosis of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) and ejection fraction (EF) of ≤ 40%. Patients 80 years of age and older were stratified into two groups: GDMT, defined as treatment at hospital discharge with at least two drugs of the following groups: beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), or mineralocorticoid antagonists; and a personalized medicine group, which included patients who were treated with up to one of these drug groups. The primary outcomes were 90-day all-cause mortality, 90-day rehospitalization, and 3-years mortality.

Results: The study included 1152 patients with HFrEF. 254 (22%) patients who were at least 80 years old. Of the group, 123 were GDMT at discharge. When GDMT group was compared to the personalized medicine group, there were no statistically significant differences in terms 90-day mortality (17% vs. 13%, P = 0.169), 90-day readmission (51 % vs. 45.6%, P = 0.27), or 3-year mortality (64.5% vs. 63.3%, P = 0.915).

Conclusions: Adherence to guidelines in the older adult population may not have the same effect as in younger patients who were studied in the randomized clinical trials. Larger prospective studies are needed to further address this issue.

February 2022
Assaf Shelef MD MHA, Sagit Dahan RN MA, Shira Weizman MD, and Esther Bloemhof Bris MA

Background: Risk factors for severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection include old age, chronic illness, and neurological conditions. In contrast, high vitamin D levels are known to augment immune activity and to reduce the severity of viral infections. Recently, a possible association between the likelihood of COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 severity, and vitamin D blood levels was reported.

Objective: To assess the possible association between vitamin D long-term supplementation and COVID-19 symptomatic severity and complications of COVID-19 infection in elderly psychiatric inpatients, a high at-risk group.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective case series study. Data of 14 elderly COVID-19 positive inpatients, presenting with dementia or schizophrenia and other medical conditions were extracted from medical records. All patients maintained a 800 IU daily dose of vitamin D prior to the infection.

Results: Most of the inpatients were asymptomatic or presented very few symptoms. No need for intensive care unit intervention or deaths were reported. Cognitive functioning of the patients remained unchanged.

Conclusions: Pre-existing vitamin D supplementation may reinforce immunity and reduce COVID-19 severity in elderly psychiatric inpatients.

June 2021
Zvi Shimoni MD, Vendi Danilov MD, Shoshana Hadar MD, and Paul Froom MD

Background: Recommendations for a head computed tomography (CT) scan in elderly patients without a loss of consciousness after a traumatic brain injury and without neurological findings on admission and who are not taking oral anticoagulant therapy, are discordant.

Objectives: To determine variables associated with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and the need for neurosurgery in elderly patients after low velocity head trauma

Methods: In a regional hospital, we retrospectively selected 206 consecutive patients aged ≥ 65 years with head CT scans ordered in the emergency department because of low velocity head trauma. Outcome variables were an ICH and neurological surgery. Independent variables included age, sex, disability, neurological findings, facial fractures, mental status, headache, head sutures, loss of consciousness, and anticoagulation therapy.

Results: Fourteen patients presented with ICH (6.8%, 3.8–11.1%) and three (1.5%, 0.3–4.2%) with a neurosurgical procedure. One patient with a coma (0.5, 0.0–2.7) died 2 hours after presentation. All patients who required surgery or died had neurological findings. Reducing head CT scans by 97.1% (93.8–98.9%) would not have missed any patient with possible surgical utility. Twelve of the 14 patients (85.7%) with an ICH had neurological findings, post-trauma loss of consciousness or a facial fracture were not present in 83.5% (95% confidence interval 77.7–88.3) of the cohort.

Conclusions: None of our patients with neurological findings required neurosurgery. Careful palpation of the facial bones to identify facial fractures might aid in the decision whether to perform a head CT scan.

February 2021
Ron Skorochod BMED Sc, Yaakov Applbaum MD, Gideon Nesher MD, and Ariella Tvito MD
September 2020
Eilon Ram MD, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Amit Segev MD and Yael Peled MD

Background: In 2006, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation amended the guidelines for the upper age limit of heart transplantation (HTx) from 55 years to 70 years and older for carefully selected patients. However, the relation of age to outcomes following of HTx has not been well studied.

Objectives: To investigate the impact of recipient age on the occurrence of rejections, vasculopathy, and mortality after HTx.

Methods: Study population comprised all consecutive 291 patients who underwent HTx between 1991–2016 and were followed at our center. Patients were categorized by age tertiles: < 46 years (mean 31.4 ± 11.7, range 16–45, n=90), 46–57 years (mean 51.4 ± 3.2, range 46–56, n=92), and ≥ 57 years (mean 61.6 ± 3.4, range 57–73, n=109).

Results: Patients aged ≥ 57 years were more often males and had more pre-HTx co-morbidities including hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and history of smoking (P < 0.05) compared to the younger age groups. Kaplan-Meier analysis by age tertiles showed the rates of major rejections and vasculopathy at 15 years were similar among the three age groups. Mortality rates at 15 years were directly related to the age groups (39%, 52%, 62% log-rank, P = 0.01). However, the association between age and mortality was no longer statistically significant after multivariate analysis (hazard ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.03).

Conclusions: In a contemporary cohort of patients undergoing HTx, recipient age does not significantly impact the risk of major rejections, vasculopathy, and long-term mortality.

 

 

February 2020
Lina Salman MD, Avi Ben-haroush MD, Gad Sabah MD, Ariella Jakobson-Setton MD, Daliah Tsoref MD, Oded Raban MD, Effi Yeoshoua MD and Ram Eitan MD

Background: The treatment of elderly patients with advanced stage ovarian carcinoma is challenging due to a high morbidity.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical course and outcome of elderly patients with advanced stage ovarian carcinoma receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT).

Methods: A retrospective study of all patients with stage IIIC and IV ovarian carcinoma receiving NACT in one medical center (between 2005 and 2017). The study group criteria age was above 70 years. The control group criteria was younger than 70 years old at diagnosis. Demographics and treatment outcomes were compared between groups. Primary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Overall, 105 patients met the inclusion criteria, 71 patients (67.6%) were younger than 70 years and 34 patients (32.4%) older. Rates of interval cytoreduction were significantly higher in younger patients (76.1% vs. 50.0%, P = 0.01). Of those who underwent interval cytoreduction, no difference was found in rates of optimal debulking between groups (83.35% vs. 100%, P = 0.10). Using a Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, no significant differences were observed between groups in PFS or OS, P > 0.05. Among the elderly group alone, patients who underwent interval cytoreduction had significantly longer PFS than those without surgical intervention (0.4 ± 1.7 vs. 19.3 ± 19.4 months, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Elderly patients with ovarian carcinoma who received NACT undergo less interval cytoreduction than younger patients, with no difference in PFS and OS. However, among the elderly, interval cytoreduction is associated with significantly higher PFS.

Gideon Charach MD, Eli Karniel MD, Itamar Grosskopf MD and Lior Charach MD

Background: Internal thoracic impedance (ITI) measurement is a sensitive method for detecting preclinical pulmonary edema and pleural effusion.

Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of this non-invasive method for detecting early pleural effusion among geriatric patients and to monitor increased ITI during its resolution.

Methods: This prospective, controlled study was conducted between July 2012 and August 2015. The study comprised 70 patients aged 65 to 94 years; and 39 of the patients had pleural effusion. ITI was measured continuously with a RS-207 monitor. The predictive value of ITI monitoring was determined based on a total of eight measurements taken at 12-hour intervals over 84 hours.

Results: As a result of medical treatment, the median ITI of the study group increased from 31 (interquartile range [IQR] 28–33 ohms) to 41 ohms (IQR 38–41 ohms; P < 0.001) compared to non-significant changes in the control group. Average respiratory rate (per minute) in the study group decreased from 29 (IQR 28–34) to 19 (IQR 18–20).

Conclusions: ITI monitoring is efficient for diagnosis and for ongoing clinical evaluation of the treatment of elderly patients with pleural effusion. Timely treatment may prevent serious complications of effusions avoiding extended hospitalization.

January 2020
Daniel Silverberg MD, Ahmad Abu Rmeileh MD, Daniel Raskin MD, Uri Rimon MD and Moshe Halak MD

Background: Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) is associated with decreased perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To report the outcomes of EVAR among patients older than 80 years of age.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed patients older than 80 years of age who underwent elective EVAR at our institution between 2007 and 2017. The demographics, perioperative morbidity and mortality, and long-term results are reported.

Results: During the study period, 444 patients underwent elective EVAR for AAAs. Among them 128 patients (29%) were > 80 years of age. Mean age was 84 ± 3.4 (range 80–96) years, and 110 patients (86%) were male. The EVAR was technically successful in 127 patients (99%) and there were intraoperative mortalities. Within 30 days of the surgery, nine patients (7%) died. Major and minor adverse events occurred in 26 (20%) and 59 (46%) patients, respectively. Factors associated with increased risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality included chronic kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, and the existence of three or more co-morbidities.

Conclusions: EVAR in the elderly can be performed with a high rate of success; however, it is associated with a substantial rate of morbidity and mortality, particularly when patients present with multiple co-morbidities. When performing EVAR in this population group, the risk of rupture must be considered opposed to the life expectancy of these patients and the risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality.

December 2019
Tali Samson MSW PhD, Roni Peleg MD, Aya Biderman MD and Yan Press MD

Background: The use of graphic depictions (pictorials) to represent medical conditions is an accepted method that can complement standard methodology of comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Objectives: To use the clinical pathway method to develop a comprehensive geriatric genogram assessment tool (CGGAT), which could supplement the written summary letter and recommendations.

Methods: We used the critical paths method to develop a tool to facilitate implementation of the comprehensive geriatric assessment recommendations. A multidisciplinary group of clinicians used the critical pathways method to develop a CGGAT.

Results: We used the CGGAT to depict the physical and functional status of patients and to complement the textual historical information, family dynamics, and current patient issues. CGGAT is a simple instrument that provides a visual structure and it can facilitate the sharing of information among team members, encourage interdisciplinary dialogue, enhance understanding and adherence on the part of patients and professionals, and reduce the burden on the clinicians who conduct the initial comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Conclusions: We showed the benefits and obstacles related to the adaptation of this new tool and provide recommendations for further development. 

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