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עמוד בית
Sat, 08.10.22

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July 2022
Adnan Zaina MD, Ilan Shimon MD, Ali Abid MD,Eldad Arad MD,Elzbieta Baron MD, Elena Golden MD, Michal Gershinsky MD, Nariman Saba Khazen MD, Mohammed Abu Saleh MD, Noga Roguin Maor MD, Orit Bardicef MD, Yulia Pauker MD and Sameer Kassem MD

Background: National registries for acromegaly and population-based data make an important contribution to disease understanding and management. Data concerning the epidemiology of acromegaly in Israel is scanty.

Objectives: To evaluate the epidemiology of acromegaly in different industrial areas in northern Israel.

Methods: Data from adult patients diagnosed with acromegaly from 2000 to 2020, living in Haifa and the western Galilee District were collected using the electronic database and medical records from Clalit Health Services. The prevalence of acromegaly in three distinct areas and overall were reported. In addition, other epidemiological data including associated co-morbidities, pituitary tumor size, and treatment modalities were collected.

Results: We identified 77 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of acromegaly. The overall prevalence was 155 cases/106 inhabitants without statistically significant differences between the three areas. The mean age at diagnosis was 50 ± 1.8 years and the male to female ratio was 1.1. Macroadenoma and microadenoma were identified in 44 (57%) and 25 (33%), respectively. The frequency rate of acromegaly-associated co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, carpal tunnel syndrome, and osteoporosis was similar to previously reported studies. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 29 ± 5.6 kg/m2 .Obesity, with a BMI ≥ of 30 kg/m2, was found in 29 patients (38%). The majority of patients underwent transsphenoidal surgery 67 (87%). Normalized insulin-like growth factor 1 was reported in 64 (83%).

Conclusions: A high prevalence of acromegaly was found in northern Israel. The pituitary microadenoma frequency rate is the highest reported.

October 2021
Anat Ekka Zohar PhD, Jennifer Kertes MPH, Erica Cohen-Iunger MPH MD, Ilya Novikov PhD, Naama Shamir Stein MA, Sharon Hermoni Alon MD, and Miri Mizrahi Reuveni MD

Background: Israel has experienced three waves of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection since late February 2020, with lockdown and other measures employed to contain infection rates. In cooperation with the Israel Ministry of Health, serological testing was conducted by all four health maintenance organizations (HMO) in order to estimate national infection rates and the proportion of previously undetected disease.

Objectives: To estimate the proportion of the population that was seropositive, identify factors associated with seropositive outcome, and approximate the proportion of residents that were asymptomatic.

Methods: Seroconversion rates (IgG) were measured in a representative sample of over 17,000 members of Maccabi Healthcare Services. Direct standardization was used to estimate the seropositive rates for COVID-19 infection for members of the HMO. Rates were adjusted for sensitivity and specificity of the testing products used. In addition to blood sampling, respondents were asked to complete a digital survey regarding potential exposures and symptoms experienced.

Results: It was estimated that 1.9% of the adult HMO population was seropositive 4 months after the first infected person was identified in the country. Seroconversion was associated with travel abroad and exposure to infected individuals. Loss of smell and taste, fever, cough, and fatigue are associated with infection. Of those found to be seropositive for COVID-19, 160 (59%) had a prior negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or no PCR test at all.

Conclusions: Adult seropositive rates of infection were low relative to other countries. The findings suggest that early initiatives to limit infection entry and spread were effective

June 2021
Ariel Zilberlicht MD, Dan Abramov MD, Nir Kugelman MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Yossef Elias CPA, and Yoram Abramov MD

Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that presents an urgent challenge to global health and economy.

Objectives: To assess the effects of population median age and mean ambient temperature on the COVID-19 global pandemic burden.

Methods: We used databases from open access public domains to record population median age, mean ambient temperature, and the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths on days 14 and 28 from the pandemic outbreak for each country in the world. We then calculated the correlation between these parameters.

Results: The analysis included 202 countries. A univariate analysis showed that population median age significantly correlated with the cumulative number of cases and deaths, while mean ambient temperature showed a significant inverse correlation with the cumulative number of deaths on days 14 and 28 from the epidemic outbreak. After a multivariate logistic regression analysis only population median age retained its statistically significant correlation.

Conclusions: Country population median age significantly correlated with COVID-19 pandemic burden while mean ambient temperature shows a significant inverse correlation only in univariate analysis. Countries with older populations encountered a heavier burden from the COVID-19 pandemic. This information may be valuable for health systems in planning strategies for combating this global health hazard.

January 2021
Eden Moore, Barbara G. Silverman MD MPH, Yehudit Fishler, Etty Ben-Adiva MPH, Olga Davidov MBA, Rita Dichtiar MPH, Hila Edri, Miriam Zatlawi MPH, and Lital Keinan-Boker MD PhD MPH

Background: The Israel National Cancer Registry (INCR) was established in 1960. Reporting has been mandatory since 1982. All neoplasms of uncertain/unknown behavior, in situ and invasive malignancies (excluding basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin), and benign neoplasms of the brain and central nervous system (CNS) are reportable.

Objectives: To assess completeness and timeliness of the INCR for cases diagnosed or treated in 2005.

Methods: Abstractors identified cases of in situ and invasive malignancies and tumors of benign and uncertain behavior of the brain and CNS diagnosed or treated in 2005 in the files of medical records departments, pathology and cytology laboratories, and oncology and hematology institutes in 39 Israeli medical facilities. Cases were linked to the INCR database by national identity number. Duplicate cases, and those found to be non-reportable were excluded from analysis. Completeness was calculated as the percent of reportable cases identified by the survey that were present in the registry. Timeliness was calculated as the percent of reportable cases diagnosed in 2005, which were incorporated into the registry prior to 31 December 2007.

Results: The INCR’s completeness is estimated at 93.7% for all reportable diseases, 96.8% for invasive solid tumors, and 88.0% for hematopoietic tumors. Incident cases for the calendar year 2005 were less likely to be present in the registry database than those diagnosed prior to 2005.

Conclusions: Completeness and timeliness of the INCR are high and meet international guidelines. Fully automated reporting will likely improve the quality and timeliness of INCR data.

May 2020
Ilya Polishchuk MD, Demian Halperin MD, Ahmed Algedafy MD, Jorge-Shmuel Delgado MD, Mariana Zamir MD and Doron Zamir MD

Background: There is a lack of information regarding acute pancreatitis in Israel. However, the most prevalent worldwide etiologic causes of acute pancreatitis are biliary stones and alcohol abuse.

Objectives: To delineate the prevalence, main causes, rate of recurrence, mortality, and complications of acute pancreatitis in southern Israel.

Methods: In this retrospective study medical files of all hospitalized patients diagnosed with acute pancreatitis during a 13-year period were reviewed.

Results: The study comprised 602 patients with acute pancreatitis (120/100,000 patients or 1.2/1000 admissions). The main causes were: biliary stones (41.5%), alcohol (8.8%), and drugs (8.3%). Disothiazide was the most common drug associated with acute pancreatitis followed by sitagliptin, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and simvastatin. Undetermined etiology made up 33.6% of the cases. Recurrence rate was 33.8% (alcohol 3.7%, hypertriglyceridemia 1.8%). This finding had no implications on mortality rate, which was stable at 4.3%. Bilateral pleural effusion, advanced computed tomography severity index (CTSI) grading, older age, and being single were found to be poor prognostic predictive factors.

Conclusions: Biliary pancreatitis is the main cause of acute pancreatitis in southern Israel, similar to the rest of the world, and constitutes a much more common etiology than alcohol. Furthermore, drug-induced pancreatitis is a common etiology, with disothiazide being the most common drug associated with pancreatitis followed by ACE-Inhibitors, sitagliptin, and simvastatin. Recurrence of pancreatitis is common in this geographic area, and older age, advanced CTSI grading, bilateral pleural effusion, and being single are all poor prognostic predictive factors.

April 2019
Itai Gross MD, Ayalon Hadar BSc, Miklosh Bala MD and Saar Hashavya MD

Background: Horse riding has become increasingly popular in recent years and is a common activity among children. As a result, pediatric horse-related injuries are frequently encountered in emergency departments.

Objectives: To examine the characteristics of horse-related injuries in the pediatric population.

Methods: We collected and analyzed the data on all pediatric horse-related injuries presented to a tertiary hospital, level one trauma center, during the years 2006–2016.

Results: A total of 53 children with horse-related injuries were documented. Forty-two patients were male (79%) and their mean age was 11.13 ± 4.72 years. The most common mechanism of injury was falling off a horse (31 patients, 58%) and the most common type of injury was skeletal (32 patients, 60%). Head injuries occurred in 16 patients (30%) and facial injuries in 12 (23%). The mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 10.5 ± 6.32, and 15 patients (28%) had severe trauma (ISS > 15). Twenty-nine patients (55%) required trauma team intervention, 12 (23%) were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 24 (45%) required surgery. The mean length of hospitalization was 4.3 ± 3.14 days.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that horse-related trauma may involve serious injuries and it exhibits typical injury patterns. Young boys are at highest risk. The potential severity of these injuries merits a thorough evaluation. We suggest that these injuries be triaged appropriately, preferably to a medical facility with proper trauma capabilities.

March 2019
Yedidia Bentur MD, Yael Lurie MD, Alfred Cahana MD, Anna Bloom-Krasik MD, Nona Kovler MD, Gal Neuman MD, Bella Gurevych MD, Paul Sofer MD and Wendy Klein-Schwartz PharmD MPH

Background: The Israel Poison Information Center (IPIC), Rambam Health Care Campus, provides 24-hour telephone consultations on clinical toxicology and drug and reproductive toxicology. It participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and provides laboratory services. In 2014, nurse specialists in poison information joined the IPIC.

Objectives: To report the epidemiology of poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We present computerized queries and a descriptive analysis of the medical records database of the IPIC for 2017.

Results: A total of 39,928 poison exposure cases were recorded, reflecting increases of 226.3% and 26.7% compared with 1995 and 2012, respectively. Children < 6 years of age were involved in 47.0% of cases; 80.4% of calls were made by the public and 17.8% by physicians; 74.2% of exposures were unintentional and 7.3% intentional. Pharmaceuticals were involved in 51.4% of cases, chemicals in 36.9%, bites and stings in 2.2%, and plants and mushrooms in 1.5%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products, and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.3%, mainly due to insecticides, drugs of abuse, and corrosives. Three fatalities were recorded (due to colchicine, organophosphates, and volatile substance inhalant abuse).

Conclusions: Poison exposures and poisonings have markedly increased in Israel, contributing substantially to morbidity. The IPIC prevented unnecessary referrals to emergency departments. Its database is a valuable national resource for collecting and monitoring poisoning exposure cases. It can be used as a real-time surveillance system for the benefit of public health. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory, and its activities adequately supported by national resources.

January 2019
Nesrin Ghanem-Zoubi MD, Silvia Pessah Eljay MD MPH, Emilia Anis MD MPH and Mical Paul MD

Background: The epidemiology of human brucellosis (HB) continues to evolve.

Objectives: To describe the current epidemiology of HB in Israel in general and in the population at risk.

Methods: We calculated the incidence of HB in Israel for the period 2009–2015, overall and for the Arab population. Data are based on mandatory reporting of HB in Israel, defined clinically with either laboratory confirmation or epidemiological linkage to a laboratory-confirmed case. We mapped the geographic distribution of HB throughout the study period according to localities. We specified localities with high incidence (≥ 10 per 100,000 population) and mapped the distribution of dense localities with time.

Results: The incidence of HB in the general population in Israel increased sharply from 1.9 per 100,000 in 2009 to a peak of 7.3 per 100,000 in 2014. Each year, 95–100% of cases occurred among Arabs, thus the incidence in the Arab population increased from 10 per 100,000 in 2009 to 33.5 per 100,000 in 2014. Throughout this period 133 different localities reported at least one case of HB, and of these 20 were high-incidence localities during one year at least. During the period 2009–2013 the number of affected localities ranged from 35 to 44 per year and the disease was local, while in 2014 there were 82 localities distributed across the country.

Conclusions: We demonstrate the importance of analyzing incidence in the population at risk for a disease. HB is an urgent public health issue in the Arab population in Israel, mandating an immediate and long-term eradication and control program.

July 2018
Rashed Abu-Saleh MD, Orna Nitzan MD, Walid Saliba MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Yoram Keness PhD, Anna Yanovskay MD, Hana Edelstein, Naama Schwartz PhD and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Skin colonization of microorganisms in blood cultures (BCs) are generally considered clinically non-significant and can be the source of a true infection, particularly in immunosuppressed patients.

Objectives: To study the epidemiology and risk factors for bacteremia caused by contaminants.

Methods: This retrospective, descriptive study is based on adult BCs collected (2004–2013) and categorized as positive (True bacteremia [TrueB] or contamination) or negative. Clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics of BCs positive for the six most common potential contaminant pathogens (PCPs) that can cause TrueB and contamination (Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus [CoNS], Streptococcus viridans, Propionibacterium acnes, Corynebacterium spp., Bacillus spp., Clostridium spp.) were assessed. Ninety-two TrueB were identified vs. 196 contaminations (1:2 ratio).

Results: From 74,014 BCs, PCPs were found in 3735 samples, of which 3643 (97.5%) were contaminations and 92 (2.5%) were TrueB. The overall rate of BC contamination decreased during the study period from 6.7% to 3.8%. CoNS was the most common PCP. Bacillus spp. were only contaminants. Clostridium spp. and Streptococcus viridans were more often TrueB. In a multivariate model, predictors of TrueB included high creatinine levels, Streptococcus viridans in BC, and multiple positive BCs. A single culture of CoNS was strongly predictive of contamination.

Conclusions: Ten years of data on BCs, focusing on six PCPs, demonstrates a significant, yet insufficient reduction in the rate of contamination. High creatinine level, isolation of Streptococcus viridans, and multiple positive BCs were predictors of TrueB, while growth of CoNS was strongly predictive of contamination. This model could assist in diagnostic and therapeutic decision making.

December 2016
Yasmin Abu-Ghanem MD, Nir Kleinmann MD, Harry Z. Winkler MD and Dorit E. Zilberman MD

Background: The prevalence and etiology of nephrolithiasis vary, depending on geography, gender and ethnicity. 

Objectives: To analyze the demographic data of return nephrolithiasis patients in a tertiary care center.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our prospective registry database of return patients seen at our outpatient clinic for nephrolithiasis. Data included gender, age at first visit, age at first stone event, body mass index (BMI), self-reported hypertension, diabetes mellitus (DM), and hyperlipidemia. All patients were seen at least twice and had undergone a metabolic workup. 

Results: A total of 260 return patients were seen during the period 2010–2015. The male:female ratio was 3.1:1. Mean age at the first stone event was 44.1 years. Median time elapsed since the first stone event to medical evaluation was 5 years (interquartile range 1–12 years). Hypertension was reported by 33.1% of the patients, DM by 23.5% and hyperlipidemia by 30.4%. All three diseases were reported by 11.5% of patients. The metabolic abnormalities detected were hypocitraturia (60%), low urine volume (LUV) (60%), hypercalciuria (40.8%), hyperoxaluria (24.2%), hyperuricosuria (16.5%) and hyperuricemia (13.5%). Stone compositions from most to least frequent were calcium-oxalate (81%), calcium-phosphate (11.9%) and uric acid (7.1%). We also found that 24.6% were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and showed higher rates of hypertension, DM, hyperlipidemia, hyperuricemia and hyperuricosuria compared with non-obese patients. Significantly higher rates of obesity and LUV were detected in females compared with males. Patients over age 45 had lower rates of hyperuricemia compared with patients ≥ 45 years old (P = 0.038).

Conclusions: Factors related to nephrolithiasis can potentially differ among populations and countries. Our findings emphasize the significance of individualized national health programs to address local issues.

 

May 2016
Shahar Grunner MD, Pavel Kotlarsky MD, Yaron Berkovich MD, Adi Givon BSc and Yaniv Keren MD

Background: Kite surfing is one of the trendiest water sports worldwide. With its growing popularity evidence has begun to accumulate regarding its potential for injuries which range from minor insults to death. 

Objectives: To define the epidemiology and distribution of common kite surfing injuries among recreational athletes. 

Methods: An open letter was published on the web calling for surfers to report injuries inflicted during recreational kite surfing. In addition, we received data from the National Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine Research. 

Results: Our survey yielded only a small series of 48 injuries. Most kite surfing injuries are isolated injuries, although some are life threatening as occurred in two surfers who died due to severe head injuries. Among the injuries, 72.9% are related to the musculoskeletal system, followed by head and chest injuries (18.7% and 14.6%, respectively). Of the orthopedic injuries 48.6% are fractures, the majority in the lower limbs (58.8%). 

Conclusions: Our findings combined with those of previous articles on kite surfing-associated injuries contribute to a better understanding of such injuries, raise awareness in emergency department personnel, and indicate precautions needed to avoid or lessen incapacitating and potentially life-threatening injuries. 

 

October 2015
Barak Raguan BSc, Efrat Wolfovitz MD and Efrat Gil MD

Background: Physical restraints are a common, albeit controversial, tool used in the acute care setting. 

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of physical restraint use in an acute care hospital. Secondary objectives were to determine whether physical restraints are used more commonly in night shifts, identify patient risk factors for physical restraint use, and establish if staff-to-patient ratio correlated with physical restraint use.

Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted over 3 months in 2013 in the medical, surgical and intensive care units in a mid-sized general hospital. All the physically restrained patients in each observation were added to the registry. At each observation one department was selected for comparison and all non-restrained patients were added to the registry.

Results: The study population comprised 2163 patients. Seventy-six were restrained and 205 were included as case-controls. The prevalence of physical restraint use was 3.51% (95%CI = 2.79–4.37%). Physical restraint use was more common in night shifts than day shifts: 4.40% vs. 2.56% (P = 0.03). Male gender, dependency, invasive ventilation, invasive tubes (nasogastric tube or urine catheter), and bedsores were all significantly correlated with restraint use. Staff-to-patient ratios were not significantly correlated with use of physical restraints.

Conclusions: Physical restraints are relatively common in acute care wards. The use of physical restraints seems to correlate with certain patient characteristics but not with staff-to-patient ratios, and seems more common at night. 

 

June 2015
Hashem Bishara MD MPH, Noam Goldstein MD, Marwan Hakim MD, Olga Vinitsky MD MPH, Danit Shechter-Amram RN and Daniel Weiler-Ravell MD

Background: Atypical presentation of tuberculosis (TB) during pregnancy may cause diagnostic delay and adversely influence pregnancy outcome. 

Objectives: To examine the incidence and clinical and epidemiological features of TB during pregnancy and investigate infection control measures at delivery and during the postpartum period.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all reported cases of TB diagnosed during pregnancy to 6 months postpartum in Israel’s Northern Health District (2002–2012). 

Results: Active TB was detected in six patients; all were negative for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Two patients were diagnosed in the postpartum period, and four had pulmonary involvement. The average incidence during this period (3.9 per 100,000 pregnancies) was similar to that in the general population. Five patients were at high risk of contracting TB due to either recent immigration from a high-burden country or being in contact with another individual with active TB. Patients with pleuropulmonary involvement had prolonged cough and abnormal chest X-rays, without fever. Diagnosis was delayed for 3 to 7 months from symptom onset. Investigation of the newborn to rule out intrauterine infection was conducted in only one of four relevant cases. All patients were infected with organisms susceptible to all first-line drugs, and all were cured with standard therapy.

Conclusions: There was a considerable delay in the diagnosis of TB among pregnant women, and investigation of the newborn upon delivery to rule out TB infection was routinely omitted. Effective management of TB during pregnancy and the postpartum period requires a multidisciplinary approach including an obstetrician, pediatrician, TB specialist, and public health physician.

 

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