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עמוד בית
Fri, 12.07.24

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January 2006
Z. Habot-Wilner, H. Desatnik, A. Greenbaum and I. S. Barequet.

Orbital dog bites, although uncommon, occur mostly in children and are reported to be associated with severe ocular adnexal injury without globe involvement.

December 2005
M. Iancovici Kidon, M. Stein, C. Geller-Bernstein, Z. Weisman, S. Steinberg, Z. Greenberg, Z. T. Handzel, Z. Bentwich.

Background: Since 1984, several waves of Ethiopian immigrants have settled in Israel. On arrival they were found to be highly infected with intestinal parasites and to have increased serum immunoglobulin E and eosinophilia. 

Objectives: To study serum IgE [1] levels in Ethiopian children growing up in the environment of Israel . 

Methods: We assessed four groups of children of Ethiopian origin: a) adolescents examined on their arrival to Israel (group 1, n=11); b) adolescents born in Ethiopia and living in Israel for more than 7 years (group 2, n=10); c) children of Ethiopian origin born in Israel, without a history of allergy or asthma (group 3, n=15); and d) asthmatic children of Ethiopian origin born in Israel (group 4, n=8). A thorough clinical interview and examination as well as serum IgE levels, stool parasites and absolute eosinophil count were performed. 

Results: Group 1 (11 newly arrived Ethiopian adolescents) had a mean eosinophil count of 688 cells/ml (0–1739) and a mean serum IgE of 1043 IU/ml (253–2932), P < 0.0009 as compared to group 2. Helminthic parasites were observed in 8/11 individuals; after 1 year of follow-up and anti-parasitic treatment, serum IgE levels did not change significantly. Group 2 (10 Ethiopian born adolescents living in Israel for on average 10 years, 7–15 years) had a normal leukocyte count, MEC [2] 192 cells/ml (range 54–289), serum IgE 142 IU/ml (range 14–399 IU/ml) and no parasites in stool. Group 3 (15 Ethiopian children born in Israel) had a normal leukocyte count, MEC 128 cells/ml (0–324), serum IgE 55 IU/ml (7–189 IU/ml), similar to age-matched Israeli controls. In group 4 (8 Israeli born children of Ethiopian descent diagnosed with asthma), serum IgE showed significant elevation compared to Israeli age-matched asthmatic children (P < 0.005).  

Conclusions: High levels of IgE found in Ethiopian children on arrival to Israel declined to Israeli control levels after several years of living in the new environment. Ethiopian children born in Israel had normal levels of IgE, suggesting that environment is the main factor affecting IgE levels in this population. Israeli born Ethiopian children with asthma had significantly increased serum IgE levels compared to asthmatics of Israeli origin. These findings suggest that both environmental and genetic factors determine the level of serum IgE in these children. 

 ________________________________________

 [1] Ig = immunoglobulin

 [2] MEC = mean eosinophil count
 

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


September 2005
I. Greenberg-Wolff, E. Konen, I. Ben Dov, D. Simansky, M. Perelman and J. Rozenman
Background: Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia is increasingly being recognized as a major cause of diffuse infiltrative lung disease. The differential diagnosis of non-infectious diseases that resemble pneumonia should include this entity. Understanding the radiologic features of this entity will help in defining the correct diagnosis, although lung biopsy is needed to provide histopathologic confirmation. Treatment with steroids achieves an excellent response.

Objectives: To present a variety of radiologic findings on high resolution computerized tomography in eight sequential patients with COP[1], together with clinical and pathologic correlation.

Methods: Sequential HRCT[2] examinations of eight patients (four males) aged 53–80 years (mean 65.5 years) with pathologically proven COP were retrospectively analyzed by a consensus of two experienced chest radiologists for the existence and distribution of airspace consolidation, ground-glass opacities, nodular thickening along bronchovascular bundles, small (<1 cm) and large (>1 cm) nodules. The distribution of radiologic findings was classified as unilateral or bilateral, located in the upper, lower or middle lobe, and central or peripheral. Also recorded was the presence or absence of mediastinal lymphadenopathy and pleural effusion. Correlation with clinical symptoms was analyzed.

Results: All eight patients had bilateral airspace consolidations: in two cases consolidations were limited to central fields, in four they were peripheral, and in the remaining two cases they were both central and peripheral. Small nodules were noted in six cases and large nodules in three. Ground-glass opacities were found in four cases. All patients had enlarged lymph nodes (1–1.5 cm) in the mediastinum. Radiologic abnormalities resolved or improved after steroid treatment in all patients.

Conclusions: HRCT findings of bilateral multiple heterogenic lung infiltrates and nodules associated with mild mediastinal lymphadenopathy in a patient with non-specific clinical symptoms are suggestive of COP; in such cases, lung biopsy is indicated. Radiologic resolution of abnormalities correlates well with clinical improvement under adequate steroid treatment.

___________________________________________

[1] COP = cryptogenic organizing pneumonia

[2] HRCT = high resolution computerized tomography

August 2005
E. Konen, I. Greenberg and J. Rozenman
 Background: Chest radiography is still the most frequently performed radiologic imaging study. Digital radiography is gradually replacing the conventional systems.

Objectives: To compare the subjective visibility of normal anatomic landmarks in the chest on storage phosphor-based digital radiographs versus conventional screen-film radiographs.

Methods: Digital phosphor-based and screen-film posteroanterior chest radiographs were obtained during 1 year in 140 asymptomatic patients without any known pulmonary disease (119 men, 21 women; mean age 52.1 years, range 23–86). Both sets of films were independently compared by two experienced radiologists in different sessions. The visibility of each of the following anatomic landmarks was graded from 1 to 3: pulmonary fissures, carina, bronchi to left upper lobe, right upper lobe and left lower lobe, bronchus intermedius, anterior and posterior junctional lines, and vessels behind the heart and diaphragm. Additionally, subjective general quality impression of each radiograph was graded similarly. Statistical analyses were performed using the chi-square test. A P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Visibility with the digital images was statistically significantly higher for the carina, left lower lobe bronchus, bronchus intermedius, and vessels behind the heart and diaphragm. Subjective general quality impression of digital radiographs was also higher (P < 0.001). No significant visibility differences were found for pulmonary fissures or junctional lines.

Conclusion: Subjective visibility of anatomic structures behind the heart and diaphragm and at the hilae is significantly improved with phosphor-based digital radiography compared with conventional screen-film radiography. This suggests that pathologic processes such as pulmonary nodules, masses or consolidations projected over those structures may be more easily and reliably depicted on digital than conventional chest X-rays.

April 2005
L. Keinan-Boker, N. Noyman, A. Chinich, M.S. Green and D. Nitzan-Kaluski
Background: The prevalence of obesity has increased considerably in many countries in recent decades.

Objective: To describe the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the Israeli population, based on findings of the first national health and nutrition survey (MABAT).

Methods: This cross-sectional survey was carried out during 1999–2000. MABAT is based on a representative sample (n=3,246) of the general Israeli population aged 25–64 years. The current study population comprised those with complete data on measured weight and height (n=2,781). Participants were interviewed in person and had their weight and height measured by the interviewer.

Results: Over 50% of the study participants were women (n=1,410); 76% were Jews and 24% Arabs. Most participants had an education of at least 12 years (72%). Body mass index ≥30.0 was more prevalent in women compared to men (P < 0.001) in both population groups (Jews and Arabs). Obesity rates increased with age and reached 22.4% for men and 40.4% for women aged 55–64 years. Lower education was associated with higher obesity rates, with lowest rates observed for Jewish women with an academic education (13.6%) and highest rates observed for Arab women with a basic education (57.3%). Multiple logistic regression analyses showed age to be a significant risk factor in men. Age, education and origin (Arab, and the former Soviet Union for Jews) were significant risk factors for obesity in women.

Conclusions: Obesity rates in Israel are high and comparable to those in the United States. Of special concern is the subgroup of older Arab women (55–64 years), whose obesity rates reached 70%.

January 2005
Y.S. Brin, H. Reuveni, S. Greenberg Dotan, A. Tal and A. Tarasiuk

Background: Continuous positive airway pressure is the treatment of choice for patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Objective: To determine the factors influencing treatment initiation with a CPAP[1] device in a healthcare system in which co-payment is required.

Methods: A total of 400 adult patients with OSAS[2] who required CPAP therapy completed questionnaires at three different stages of the diagnostic and therapeutic process: CPAP titration study (stage 1), patient adaptation trial (stage 2), and purchase of a CPAP device (stage 3). Logistic regression was used to analyze the variables influencing CPAP use at the different stages of the diagnostic and therapeutic processes.

Results: Only 32% of the patients who underwent CPAP titration study purchased a CPAP device. The number of subjects who purchased a CPAP device increased gradually as monthly income increased, 28% vs. 62% in the “very low” and “very high” income levels respectively. Reporting for the titration increased in patients with excessive daytime sleepiness and an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score above 9 (odds ratio = 1.9, P = 0.015). Higher socioeconomic status increased reporting to stage 2 (OR[3] = 1.23, P = 0.03) and CPAP purchase (stage 3, OR = 1.35, P = 0.002). Excessive daytime sleepiness increased reporting to stage 2 (OR = 2.28, P = 0.006). Respiratory disturbance index above 35 increased CPAP purchasing (OR = 2.01, P = 0.022). Support from the bed partner, referring physician and sleep laboratory team increased CPAP purchasing.

Conclusions: A supportive environment for a patient with OSAS requiring CPAP is crucial to increase initiation of CPAP treatment. Minimizing cost sharing for the CPAP device will reduce inequality and may increase CPAP treatment initiation.






[1] CPAP = continuous positive airway pressure

[2] OSAS = obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

[3] OR = odds ratio


December 2004
N. Lipovetzky, H. Hod, A. Roth, Y. Kishon, S. Sclarovsky and M.S. Green

Background: Food intake has an immediate effect on the cardiovascular system. However, the effect of a large meal as an immediate trigger for the acute coronary syndrome has not been assessed.

Objectives: To assess the relative risk for an ACS[1] within a few hours after the ingestion of a heavy meal.

Methods: In a case-crossover study 209 patients were interviewed a median of 2 days after an ACS. Ingestion of a large meal in the few hours immediately before the onset of ACS was compared with the comparable few hours the day before and with the usual frequency of large meals over the past year. Large meals were assessed by a 5 level scale.

Results: The relative risk of an acute coronary event during the first hour after a heavy meal ingestion was RR[2] = 7 (95% confidence interval 0.75–65.8) when the day before the ACS served as the control data and RR = 4 (95% CI[3] 1.9–8.6) when the usual frequency of heavy meals ingestion during the previous year served as the control data. 

Conclusions: The ingestion of heavy meals can trigger the onset of an ACS. Education of the population to avoid heavy meals, especially in people at high risk for coronary heart disease, should be included in the prevention of ACS. Research on specific nutrients that may act as potential triggers for ACS should be considered.






[1] ACS = acute coronary syndrome

[2] RR = relative risk

[3] CI = confidence interval


October 2004
E. Greenberg, I. Treger and H. Ring

Background: Follow-up examinations in a rehabilitation center clinic after stroke are essential for coordinating post-acute services and monitoring patient progress. Of first-stroke patients discharged from our rehabilitation ward to the community 92% are invited for ambulatory check-up once every 6 months.

Objectives: To review patient complaints at follow-up and the recommendations issued by the attending physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the outpatient clinic.

Methods: We extracted relevant data from the records, and assessed the relationship between functional status on admission and discharge (measured by FIM[1]), length of stay, and number of complaints. Patients were divided according to the side of neurologic damage, etiology, whether the stroke was a first or recurrent event, and main clinical syndrome (neglect or aphasia).

Results: Patients' complaints included: decreased hand function (40%), general functional deterioration (20%), difficulty walking (11%), speech dysfunction (10%), various pains (especially in plegic shoulder) (8%), urine control (2%), sexual dysfunction (3%), swallowing difficulties (2%), and cognitive disturbances (2%). Patients received the following recommendations: physiotherapy (52.5%), occupational therapy (37.5%), speech therapy (12.5%), different bracing techniques (22.5%), pain clinic treatment (12.5%), changing medication prescriptions (7.5%), psychological treatment (10%), sexual rehabilitation (5%), vocational counseling (2.5%), counseling by social workers (2.5%), and recurrent neuropsychological diagnosis (2.5%). A reverse correlation was found between the number of complaints and FIM at admission (P = 0.0001) and discharge (P = 0.0003), and between LOS[2] and FIM at admission (P = 0.0001) and discharge (P = 0.004). A direct correlation was found between the number of complaints and LOS (P = 0.029). No relation was found between age, type of stroke, first and recurrent event, and clinical syndromes and patient complaints in the outpatient rehabilitation. Community rehabilitation services met 58% of all recommendations in 62% of patients, mainly physiotherapy and occupational therapy, with 34% of patients waiting for implementation of the recommendations and 4% not available for follow-up.

Conclusions: Follow-up examinations should be an integral part of post-stroke rehabilitation. Rehabilitation treatment in the community must be strengthened.






[1] FIM = Functional Independence Measure

[2] LOS = length of stay


September 2004
D. Greenberg, P. Yagupsky, N. Peled, A. Goldbart, N. Porat and A. Tal

Background: Transmission of Pseudomonas aeruginosa among cystic fibrosis patients attending health camps has been reported previously.

Objectives: To determine the transmission of P. aeruginosa among CF[1] patients during three winter camps in the Dead Sea region in southern Israel.

Methods: Three consecutive CF patient groups were studied, each of which spent 3 weeks at the camp. The patients were segragated prior to camp attendance: patients who were not colonized with P. aeruginosa constituted the first group and colonized patients made up the two additional groups. Sputum cultures were obtained upon arrival, at mid-camp and on the last day. Environmental cultures were also obtained. Patients were separated during social activities and were requested to avoid social mingling. Isolates were analyzed by antibiotics susceptibility profile and by pulsed field gel electrophoresis.

Results: Ninety isolates from 19 patients produced 28 different fingerprint patterns by PFGE[2]. Isolates from two siblings and two patients from the same clinic displayed the same fingerprint pattern. These patients were already colonized with these organisms upon arrival. Two couples were formed during the camp, but PFGE showed no transmission of organisms. All other patients' isolates displayed unique fingerprint patterns and were distinguishable from those of other attendees, and none of the P. aeruginosa-negative patients acquired P. aeruginosa during camp attendance. Environmental cultures were negative for P. aeruginosa.

Conclusions: We were unable to demonstrate cross-infection of P. aeruginosa among CF patients participating in health camps at the Dead Sea who were meticulously segregated.






[1] CF = cystic fibrosis

[2] PFGE = pulsed field gel electrophoresis


July 2004
J. Tarabeia, Y. Amitai, M. Green, G.J. Halpern, S. Blau, A. Ifrah, N. Rotem and L. Jaber

Background: The infant mortality rate is a health status indicator.

Objectives: To analyze the differences in infant mortality rates between Jews and Arabs in Israel between 1975 and 2000.

Methods: Data were used from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Mother, Child and Adolescent Health in the Ministry of Health.

Results: The IMR[1] in 2000 was 8.6 per 1,000 live births in the Israeli Arab population as compared to 4.0 in the Jewish population. Between 1970 and 2000 the IMR decreased by 78% among Moslems, 82% among Druze, and 88% among Christians, as compared to 79% in the Jewish population. In 2000, in the Arab population, 40% of all infant deaths were caused by congenital malformations and 29% by prematurity, compared to 23% and 53%, respectively, in the Jewish population. Between 1970 and 2000 the rate of congenital malformations declined in both the Arab and Jewish populations. In the 1970s the rate was 1.4 times higher in the Arab community than in the Jewish community, and in 2000 it was 3.7 times higher.

Conclusion: As in the Jewish population, the IMR in the Arab community has decreased over the years, although it is still much higher than that in the Jewish community. Much remains to be done to reduce the incidence of congenital malformations among Arabs, since this is the main cause of the high IMR in this population.






[1] IMR = infant mortality rate


April 2004
F. Nakhoul, Z. Abassi, M. Plawner, E. Khankin, R. Ramadan, N. Lanir, B. Brenner and J. Green

Background: Hyperhomocysteinemia is a well-recognized risk factor for accelerated atherosclerosis in hemodialysis patients.

Objectives: To examine the effects of two doses of vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid on homocysteine levels in hemodialysis patients and assess the functional impact of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotype on the response to treatment.

Methods: In a randomized prospective study, we assessed the effects of folic acid and two doses of B-vitamins in 50 hemodialysis patients with hyperhomocysteinemia. Patients were divided into two groups: 26 patients (group A) who received 25 mg of vitamin B6 daily and one monthly injection of 200 µg vitamin B12, and 24 patients (group B) who received 100 mg of vitamin B6 daily and one monthly injection of 1,000 µg vitamin B12. In addition, both groups received 15 mg folic acid daily. Patients were evaluated for homocysteine levels as well as for coagulation and a thorough lipid profile. Baseline Hcy[1] levels were determined after at least 4 weeks washout from all folic acid and B-vitamins that were given. MFTHR[2] alleles were analyzed, as were activated protein C resistance, von Willebrand factor and lupus anticoagulant.

Results: Basal plasma Hcy levels were significantly elevated in hemodialysis patients compared with normal subjects (33.8 ± 4.3 vs. 4.5 to 14.0 mmol/L). Following treatment, Hcy levels were significantly reduced to 21.2 ± 1.6 in group A and 18.6 ± 1.4 mmol/L in group B (P < 0.01). There was no difference in Hcy reduction following the administration of either high or low dosage of vitamins B6 and B12 utilized in the present study. There was no correlation between Hcy levels or thrombophilia and high incidence of thrombotic episodes in hemodialysis patients. Genotypic evaluation of MTHFR revealed that the presence of homozygous thermolabile MTHFR (n = 5) was associated with higher Hcy levels and better response to treatment (Hcy levels decreased by 58%, from 46.2 ± 14.6 to 19.48 ± 4.1 mmol/L following treatment). In patients with heterozygous thermolabile MTHFR (n = 25), Hcy levels decreased by 34%, from 31.2 ± 3.7 to 18.1 ± 1.1 mmol/L following treatment. The efficacy of high and low doses of B-vitamins on the reduction of homocysteine levels was comparable.

Conclusions: Treatment with B-vitamins in combination with folic acid significantly decreased homocysteine levels in hemodialysis patients, independently of the tested doses. In addition, mutations in MTHFR were associated with elevated plasma levels of Hcy. Neither vascular access nor.






[1] Hcy = homocysteine



[2] MTHFR = methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase


March 2004
Y. Fruchtman, D. Greenberg, E. Shany, R. Melamed, N. Peled and M. Lifshitz
October 2003
M. Boaz, S. Smetana, Z. Matas, A. Bor, I. Pinchuk, M. Fainaru, M.S. Green and D. Lichtenberg

Background: In lipid oxidation kinetics studies, prevalent cardiovascular disease has been associated with shortened lag phase, the length of time preceding the onset of oxidation.

Objectives: To examine, in vitro, copper-induced lipid oxidation kinetics in unfractionated serum from hemodialysis patients and to determine differences in kinetic parameters between patients with and without a history of CVD[1].

Methods: Of the 76 patients enrolled in a study of oxidative stress in hemodialysis (44/76 with prevalent CVD, 53/76 males), 9 males with a history of myocardial infarction were selected and matched for age, diabetes and smoking status with 9 males from the non-CVD group. The kinetics of lipid oxidation was studied. Blood chemistry determinations including serum lipids, lipoproteins, hemostatic factors and serum malondialdehyde were obtained. Variables were compared using the t-test for independent samples with history of MI[2] entered as the categorical variable.

Results: Tmax, the oxidation kinetic parameter defined as the time at which the rate of absorbing product accumulation was maximal, was significantly shorter in dialysis patients with a history of MI than in those without (115.2 ± 38.5 vs. 162.7 ± 48.9 minutes, P = 0.04). Further, Tmax and MDA[3] were negatively correlated to one another (r = -0.47, P = 0.04). Odds ratios indicate that each 1 minute increase in Tmax was associated with a 3% decrease in odds that a subject had a history of MI.

Conclusions: These findings indicate the presence of increased oxidative stress in hemodialysis patients with a history of MI.






[1] CVD = cardiovascular disease



[2] MI = myocardial infarction



[3] MDA = malondialdehyde


Y. Shapiro, J. Shemer, A. Heymann, V. Shalev, N. Maharshak, G. Chodik, M.S. Green and E. Kokia

Background: Upper respiratory tract illnesses have been associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Objective: To assess the influence of vaccination against influenza on the risk of hospitalization in internal medicine and geriatric wards, and the risk of death from all causes during the 2000–2001 influenza season.

Methods: A historical cohort study was conducted using computerized general practitioner records on patients aged 65 years and above, members of “Maccabi Health Care Services” – the second largest health maintenance organization in Israel with 1.6 million members. The patients were divided into high and low risk groups corresponding to coexisting conditions, and were studied. Administrative and clinical data were used to evaluate outcomes.

Results: Of the 84,613 subjects in the cohort 42.8% were immunized. At baseline, vaccinated subjects were sicker and had higher rates of coexisting conditions than unvaccinated subjects. Vaccination against influenza was associated with a 30% reduction in hospitalization rates and 70% in mortality rates in the high risk group. The NNT (number needed to treat) measured to prevent one hospitalization was 53.2 (28.2 in the high risk group and 100.4 in the low risk group). When referring to length of hospitalization, one vaccine was needed to prevent 1 day of hospitalization among the high risk group. Analyses according to age and the presence or absence of major medical conditions at baseline revealed similar findings across all subgroups.

Conclusions: In the elderly, vaccination against influenza is associated with a reduction in both the total risk of hospitalization and in the risk of death from all causes during the influenza season. These findings compel the rationale to increase compliance with recommendations for annual influenza vaccination among the elderly.

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