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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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March 2024
Brittany Bass MD, Kuaybe Gulen MD, Liying Han MD PhD, Kassem Harris MD, Oleg Epelbaum MD FACP FCCP ATSF

A 69-year-old woman with a 30-year history of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on leflunomide presented with dizziness and weakness. Vital signs, cardiopulmonary auscultation, and laboratory studies were normal. The serological status of her RA was unknown. She exhibited ulnar deviation and swan-necking of the hands but no nodular skin lesions. She was an active smoker. Chest radiography revealed an opacity in the right lung. Computed tomography (CT) showed multiple pulmonary nodules and a dominant thick-walled cavitary mass in the periphery of the right lower lobe [Figure 1A]. Due to concern for a malignancy or infection, she underwent a bronchoscopy with a biopsy of the mass, which was non-diagnostic. A subsequent transthoracic needle biopsy demonstrated a central zone of necrosis surrounded by a cuff of palisading epithelioid histiocytes with the presence of occasional giant cells [Figure 1B]. There was no malignancy, and stains for micro-organisms were negative. In this clinical context, biopsy results were consistent with a pulmonary rheumatoid nodule (PRN).

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.

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.

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 2004
K.Y. Mumcuoglu, S. Magdassi, J. Miller, F. Ben-Ishai, G. Zentner, V. Helbin, F. Kahana and A. Ingber

Background: Head lice move easily from head to head. The lack of safe, effective repellents leads to reinfestation.

Objectives: To test the efficacy of a slow-release citronella formulation as a repellent against the head louse.

Methods: During 4 months in 2003 a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind clinical study was conducted in four elementary schools; 103 children were treated with the test formulation and 95 with a placebo.

Results: A significant difference was observed during the second examination 2 months later, when 12.0% of the children treated with the test repellent and 50.5% of those treated with placebo were infested with lice. A significant difference was also observed at the third examination 2 months later, when 12.4% of the children treated with the test repellent and 33.7% treated with placebo were infested. Overall, there were significant differences between those treated with the repellent and those treated with the placebo (15.4% and 55.1% respectively, P < 0.0001). Side effects were observed in 4.4% of children who disliked the odor of the formulation, and an additional 1.0% who complained of a slight itching and burning sensation.

Conclusions: Use of an effective repellent could significantly lower the incidence of reinfestations, which would lower expenditure on lice control, including pediculicides, combs and products for nit removal, and the time spent on treatment and removal of the nits.

September 2002
Imad R. Makhoul, MD, DSc, Monica Epelman, MD, Imad Kassis, MD, Marcelo Daitzchman, MD and Polo Sujov, MD
January 2002
Haim Shirin MD, Yaron Davidovitz MD, Yona Avni MD, Paulina Petchenko MD, Zipora Krepel MSc, Rafael Bruck MD and Dina Meytes MD

Background: Epidemiological studies in different parts of the world have revealed controversial results on the association between hepatitis C virus infection and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This discrepancy suggests that HCV[1] lymphotropism or its effect on host lymphocytes may be influenced by regional and racial factors, as well as by genomic variations.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of HCV infection in patients with lymphoproliferative disorders diagnosed and treated in our institute in Israel.

Methods: A total of 212 consecutive patients (95 males and 117 females) treated in our hematology outpatient clinic between August 1997 and September 1999 was screened for anti-HCV antibodies and hepatitis B surface antigen. HCV infection was confirmed by the presence of HCV RNA in the serum. The prevalence of HCV in patients with lymphoproliferative disorders was compared to a control group of patients with myeloproliferative disorders and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Results: HCV infection was more prevalent in the group of LPD[2] patients than in the control group, but this finding was not statistically significant. The prevalence of HCV among LPD patients was 7.8%, while that in the group with myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic disorders was 1.19% and in the general population 0.64%. Among the different classes of LPD, a significant association with HCV infection was established only in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Furthermore, HCV infection was significantly more prevalent than HBV infection in the LPD group, but not in the myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic disorders group.

Conclusions: Our finding of a significant association between HCV infection and diffuse large B cell lymphoma leads us to suggest that anti-HCV antibodies be performed routinely in such subjects.  

________________________

 [1]LPD = lymphoproliferative disorders

[2] HCV = hepatitis C virus

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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