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עמוד בית
Mon, 06.02.23

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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.

September 2003
R. Greenberg, Y. Barnea, S. Schneebaum, H. Kashtan, O. Kaplan and Y. Skornik

Background: Drains are inserted in the dissected axilla of most patients during surgery for breast cancer.

Objective: To evaluate the presence and prognostic value of MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF in the axillary drainage of these patients.

Methods: The study group included 40 consecutive patients with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast who were suitable for breast-conserving treatment; 20 malignant melanoma patients found to have negative axillary sentinel lymph node served as the control group. The output of the drains, which had been placed in the axilla during operation, was collected, and the presence of MUC1, Met-hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor and b-actin were assessed in the lymphatic fluid by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays. The data were compared to the pathologic features of the tumor and the axillary lymph nodes, and to the estrogen and progesterone receptors status.

Results: RT-PCR[1] assays of the axillary lymphatic drainage were positive for MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF[2] in 15 (37.5%) and 26 (65%) of the patients, respectively. Patients in whom MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF were not found in the axillary fluid had smaller tumors and less capillary and lymphatic invasion, compared to patients with positive assays (P < 0.02 for all these comparisons). The lymph nodes were negative for metastases in all patients with negative assays (P < 0.001). The presence of MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF showed negative correlations with the estrogen and progesterone receptors (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF can be detected in the axillary fluids of patients with breast cancer. The expression of both tumor markers in the axillary drainage is strongly associated with unfavorable tumor features and can be used as a prognostic factor.






[1] RT-PCR = reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction



[2] HGF/SF = hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor


July 2003
D.D. Enk, I. Anteby, N. Abramson, R. Amer, Y. Amit, T. Bergshtein-Kronhaus, C. Cohen, Z. Greenberg, F. Jonas, S. Maayan, E. Marva, U. Strauss and D. BenEzra

Background: Onchocerciasis results from infestation by the nematode Onchocerca volvulus, and is characterized clinically by troublesome itching, skin lesions and eye manifestations. Since 1992, approximately 9,000 immigrants have arrived in Israel from the Kuwara province of northwest Ethiopia where the prevalence of onchocerciasis is particularly high.

Objectives: To determine whether onchocerciasis is the cause of cutaneous and ocular symptoms among recent immigrants from the Kuwara province in Ethiopia

Methods: We examined 1,200 recent immigrants from the Kuwara province residing at the Mevasseret Zion immigration center outside Jerusalem. Among them, patients with cutaneous signs suggestive of onchocerciasis underwent a skin-snip biopsy and a thorough eye examination.

Results: In the detailed skin examination performed in 83 patients, the most common skin finding was chronic papular onchodermatitis, found in more than 46 patients (55%);depigmentation and atrophy was found in 13 (15%) and 12 (14%), respectively. In 40 patients (48%), living microfilaria were detected in their skin snips. Of the 65 patients who underwent a thorough eye examination, 45 patients (66%) had ocular complaints. Corneal abnormalities were found in 55 of the 130 eyes (42%), active anterior segment intraocular inflammation and live microfilariae were found in 4 eyes (3%) and lens changes in 16 eyes (1 %). Eleven eyes (9%) showed retinal or choroidal changes.

Conclusions: Skin and eye manifestations associated with onchocerciasis are prevalent among symptomatic Ethiopian immigrants to Israel from the Kuwara province.

May 2003
M. Shany

Matrix metalloproteinases are a family of enzymes that degrade different components of extracellular matrix. They play an important role in normal physiologic processes of maintaining tissue integrity and remodeling, as in wound healing, processes of development, and regeneration. However, excessive expression of MMP[1] has been observed in many disease states, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, vascular remodeling in atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysm formation, neoplastic processes, macular degeneration and many others.

______________________________


[1] MMP = matrix metalloproteinases


 
April 2003
S. Behar, A. Battler, A. Porath, J. Leor, E. Grossman, Y. Hasin, M. Mittelman, Z. Feigenberg, C. Rahima-Maoz, M. Green, A. Caspi, B. Rabinowitz and M. Garty

Background: Little information is available on the clinical practice and implementation of guidelines in treating acute myocardial infarction patients in Israel.

Objective: To assess patient characteristics, hospital course, management, and 30 day clinical outcome of all AMI[1] patients hospitalized in Israel during a 2 month period in 2000.

Method: We conducted a prospective 2 month survey of consecutive AMI patients admitted to 82 of 96 internal medicine departments and all 26 cardiac departments operating in Israel in 2000. Data were collected uniformly by means of a hospital and 30 day follow-up form.

Results: During the survey 1,683 consecutive patients with a discharge diagnosis of AMI were included. Their mean age was 66 years; 73% were male. The electrocardiographic pattern on admission revealed ST elevation, non-ST elevation and an undetermined ECG[2] in 63%, 34% and 4% of patients respectively. Aspirin and heparin were given to 95% of patients. Beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were given to 76% and 65% of patients respectively. Among hospital survivors, 45% received lipid-lowering drugs. Thrombolytic therapy was administered in 28% of patients, coronary angiography was used in 45%, and 7% of patients underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention. The 7 and 30 day mortality rates were 7% and 11% respectively.

Conclusions: This nationwide survey shows that one-third of the AMI patients in Israel are elderly (≥ 75 years). The survey suggests that clinical guidelines for the management of patients with AMI are partially implemented in the community. Data from large surveys representing the "real world" practice are of utmost importance for the evaluation of clinical guidelines, research and educational purposes.






[1] AMI = acute myocardial infarction



[2] ECG = electrocardiogram


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