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עמוד בית
Fri, 01.03.24

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December 2023
Roy Bitan MD, Michal Youngster MD, Ana Umanski MD, Sarita Kaufman MD, Alon Kedem MD, Sarit Avraham MD, Gil Yerushalmi MD, Ariel Hourvitz MD, Itai Gat MD

Background: Sperm banks initially focused on providing sperm donation (SD) to heterosexual couples grappling with severe male infertility. Notable advancements in fertility treatments and sociological trends have broadened the scope of SD toward single women and same sex female couples.

Objectives: To evaluate SD recipient characteristics over the last three decades in Israel according to demographic parameters.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 5489 women who received SD between January 1992 and December 2021 from a tertiary referral center. We divided the overall period into six groups of five years each. A comparison of demographic characteristics of women who received SD in different periods was performed according to age at the beginning of the treatment, marital status (single women and same sex female couples, heterosexual couples), and ethnic origin.

Results: The average age of women who received SD was 37.02 ± 5.36 years. The average patient age rose from 35.08 years in 1992–1997 to 37.43 years in 2017–2021 (P-value < 0.01). The use of SD was more common among single women and same sex female couples compared to heterosexual couples in later years. Regarding single and same sex female couple, the percentage of SD recipients increased radically from 33% to 88.1% (P-value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Modern sperm banks treat older patients in non-heterosexual relationships. These trends encompass not only medical implications (e.g., in vitro fertilization vs. intrauterine insemination) but also delve into the personal and sociological impact experienced by both patients and offspring.

November 2023
Ibrahim Zvidi MD, Ram Dickman MD, Doron Boltin MBBS

Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) prevalence varies according to both geographical region and ethnicity. The interplay between these two factors has been poorly studied.

Objectives: To determine the positivity rate of H. pylori infection among Jewish and Arab patients who live in a mixed urban center in Israel.

Methods: Between November 2009 and September 2014, dyspeptic patients referred to a gastroenterology clinic in Lod, Israel, were enrolled in a prospective study. For each patient, clinical and epidemiological data were collected and a noninvasive or endoscopy-based test for H. pylori was performed.

Results: A total of 429 consecutive patients (322 Jewish and 107 Arabs), mean age 45 years (range 15–91 years) were included; 130 males. Overall positivity for H. pylori was 42.4% (182/429). The positivity rate of H. pylori was 38.8% for Jews (125/322) and 53.2% for Arabs (57/107) in Lod (P < 0.01). When immigrants were excluded, the difference in H. pylori positivity did not reach statistical significance (45.0% [77/171] vs. 53.2% [57/107], P = 0.217, in Jews and Arabs, respectively).

Conclusions: H. pylori infection was more common in Arabs that Jews in the mixed city of Lod, Israel. This finding may suggest that non-environmental factors were responsible for the observed difference in H. pylori positivity.

March 2023
Yehudit Nahum, Iftach Sagy, Yarden Cohen, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, Yair Molad

Background: Epidemiological studies have shown a connection between ethnic origin and the incidence and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Objective: To evaluate the SLE outcomes among Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients who were diagnosed with SLE and followed in lupus clinics at two large tertiary medical centers. The data were obtained from patient medical records. Patients were stratified into three ethnic origins: Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs. The primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, development of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) 2K ≤ 4 at last visit.

Results: We included 570 patients in this study. The Arab group showed the highest number of SLE classification criteria at diagnosis and last encounters compared to non-Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi Jewish groups (6.0 vs. 5.0 and 4.0, respectively at diagnosis, P < 0.001; 8.0 vs. 7.0 and 6.0 at last visit, P = 0.01). In multivariate models, Arab patients had three times higher risk of all-cause mortality than Ashkenazi Jews (hazard ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.32–6.76, P = 0.009). ESKD was similar among the study groups. Low disease activity (SLEDAI 2K ≤ 4) at last visit was lower in the Arab group than the Ashkenazi Jews (odds ratio 0.50, 95%CI 0.28–0.87, P = 0.016), depicting a medium-to-high disease activity among the former.

Conclusions: Physicians should consider the influence of the ethnicity of the SLE patient when deciding on their care plan.

September 2017
Ido-David Dechtman MD, Chagai Grossman MD, Yael Shinar MD, Rinat Cohen MD, Eyal Nachum MD, Ehud Raanani MD, Avi Livneh MD and Ilan Ben-Zvi MD

Background: Postpericardiotomy syndrome (PPS) is characterized by pleuro-pericardial inflammation, which occurs in patients undergoing surgical procedures involving the pleura, pericardium, or both. The syndrome is considered to be immune mediated. However, its pathogenesis is not fully understood. It has previously been demonstrated that the Mediterranean Fever (MEFV) gene, which is associated with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), has a role in the activation and expression of several inflammatory diseases.

Objectives: To investigate whether carriage of the MEFV mutation may precipitate PPS or affect its phenotype.

Methods: The study population included 45 patients who underwent cardiac surgery and developed PPS. The control group was comprised of 41 patients who did not develop PPS. Clinical and demographic data was collected. The severity of PPS was evaluated. Genetic analysis to determine the carriage of one the three most common MEFV gene mutations (M694V, V726A, E148Q) was performed. The carriage rate of MEFV mutations in patients with and without PPS was compared. Association between MEFV mutation carriage and severity of PPS was evaluated. 

Results: The rate of mutation carriage in the MEFV gene was similar in patients with and without PPS (15.6% in the study groups vs. 29.3% in the control group, P = 0.1937). The rate of mutation carriage in the MEFV gene was significantly lower among patients with severe PPS as compared to patients with mild-moderate PPS (4.8% vs. 25%, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Carriage of mutations in the MEFV gene is not associated with development of PPS; however, it may affect PPS severity.


October 2004
O. Shevah, M. Rubinstein and Z. Laron

Background: Laron Syndrome, first described in Israel, is a form of dwarfism similar to isolated growth hormone deficiency caused by molecular defects in the GH[1] receptor gene.

Objective: To characterize the molecular defects of the GH-R[2] in Laron syndrome patients followed in our clinic.

Methods: Of the 63 patients in the cohort, we investigated 31 patients and 32 relatives belonging to several ethnic origins. Molecular analysis of the GH-R gene was performed using the single strand conformation polymorphism and DNA sequencing techniques.

Results: Eleven molecular defects including a novel mutation were found. Twenty-two patients carried mutations in the extracellular domain, one in the transmembrane domain, and 3 siblings with typical Laron syndrome presented a normal GH-R. Of interest are, on one hand, different mutations within the same ethnic groups: W-15X and 5, 6 exon deletion in Jewish-Iraqis, and E180 splice and 5, 6 exon deletion in Jewish-Moroccans; and on the other hand, identical findings in patients from distinct regions: the 785-1 G to T mutation in an Israeli-Druze and a Peruvian patient. A polymorphism in exon 6, Gly168Gly, was found in 15 probands. One typical Laron patient from Greece was heterozygous for R43X in exon 4 and heterozygous for Gly168Gly. In addition, a novel mutation in exon 5: substitution of T to G replacing tyrosine 86 for aspartic acid (Y86D) is described.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates: a) an increased focal incidence of Laron syndrome in different ethnic groups from our area with a high incidence of consanguinity; and b) a relationship between molecular defects of the GH-R, ethnic group and geographic area.

[1] GH = growth hormone

[2] GH-R = growth hormone receptor

February 2002
Leah Peleg, PhD, Rachel Pesso, PhD, Boleslaw Goldman, MD, Keren Dotan, Merav Omer, Eitan Friedman, MD, PhD, Michal Berkenstadt, PhD, Haike Reznik-Wolf, PhD and Gad Barkai, MD

Background: The Bloom syndrome gene, BLM, was mapped to 15q26.1 and its product was found to encode a RecQ DNA helicase. The Fanconi anemia complementation group C gene was mapped to chromosome 9q22.3, but its product function is not sufficiently clear. Both are recessive disorders associated with an elevated predisposition to cancer due to genomic instability. A single predominant mutation of each disorder was reported in Ashkenazi Jews: 2281delATCTGAinsTAGATTC for Bloom syndrome (BLM-ASH) and IVS4+4A®T for Fanconi anemia complementation group C.

Objectives: To provide additional verification of the mutation rate of BLM and FACC[1] in unselected Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi populations analyzed at the Sheba Medical Center, and to trace the origin of each mutation.

Methods: We used polymerase chain reaction to identify mutations of the relevant genomic fragments, restriction analysis and gel electrophoresis. We then applied the ProntoTM kit to verify the results in 244 samples and there was an excellent match.

Results: A heterozygote frequency of 1:111 for BLM-ASH and 1:92 for FACC was detected in more than 4,000 participants, none of whom reported a family history of the disorders. The ProntoTM kit confirmed all heterozygotes. Neither of the mutations was detected in 950 anonymous non-Ashkenazi Jews. The distribution pattern of parental origin differed significantly between the two carrier groups, as well as between each one and the general population.

Conclusions: These findings as well as the absence of the mutations in non-Ashkenazi Jews suggest that: a) the mutations originated in the Israelite population that was exiled from Palestine by the Roman Empire in 70 AD and settled in Europe (Ashkenazi), in contrast to those who remained; and b) the difference in origin distribution of the BS[2] and FACC mutations can be explained by either a secondary migration of a subgroup with a subsequent genetic drift, or a separate geographic region of introduction for each mutation.


[1] FACC = Fanconi anemia complementation group C

[2] BS = Bloom syndrome

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