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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.07.24

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December 2002
Shlomo Eliyahu MD, Ehud Weiner MD, Zohar Nachum MD and Eliezer Shalev MD.

Background: Prematurity remains the most significant cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Knowing which group of women is at risk for developing preterm labor will define a target population for better prenatal care and prevention modalities.

Objective: To examine whether preterm delivery rates are associated with ethnicity, age, parity, and style of living.

Methods: We conducted a longitudinal case series examining obstetric and demographic data of 17,493 deliveries that occurred between June 1994 and May 1999. All deliveries were performed in the obstetric department of HaEmek Medical Center (Afula, Israel), which serves as a referral center. The main outcome measures were preterm delivery, as related to the women's ethnicity, age parity, and style of living ± namely, town, village, or kibbutz.

Results: The overall preterm delivery rate was 8.5%. The preterm delivery rate in non-Jewish women (10.5%) was higher than in Jewish women (7.1%) (P < 0.00001). The preterm delivery rate in women younger than 20 or older than 40 (12.5%) was much higher than in women between the ages of 21 and 40 (8.0%) (P< 0.00001). Grand-multipara women (>8) had a higher preterm delivery rate (13.8%) than less parous women (8.5%) (P < 0.012). Style of living was also associated with the preterm delivery rate (P< 0.00001): kibbutz 5.5%, Jewish towns 7.8%, non-Jewish towns 8.7%, Jewish villages 6.7%, and non-Jewish villages 11.0%.

Conclusions: Style of living, ethnicity, age and parity are statistically significant risk factors for preterm delivery in our area. These factors provide a more definable target population for better prenatal care.
 

December 2001
Avraham Friedman, MD and Amnon Lahad, MD, MPH

Background: Alternative medicine use is increasing worldwide and the associated expenditures are significant. In Israel 19% of patients who consulted their family physician had also sought treatment by an alternative medicine practitioner.

Objectives: To explore the correlation between different modalities of healthcare utilization, health behavior, and health belief among adult members of a kibbutz. This unique study population enabled the use of a simplified quantitative model due to the minimal individual differences in cost and access.

Methods: Healthcare utilization data were obtained for 220 kibbutz members aged 15–70 years from patient medical files and self-administered questionnaires over a 45 month period. Patient visits to the family practitioner and other specialist physicians were tallied, and individuals reported alternative medicine consultations during the previous year. Multiple regression analysis was used to control for age, chronic disease, and other background characteristics.

Results: The mean number of patient FP visits was 3.6 per patient per year. Women and chronic disease sufferers visited the doctor more frequently. A patient’s number of FP visits and other specialist physician visits were closely correlated, with each specialist physician consult resulting in an additional 0.64 FP visit for a given individual (P=0.007). Our analysis indicated that self-reported alternative therapy utilization was positively associated with the number of FP visits; patients reporting alternative therapy use visited their primary care physician once additionally per year (P=0.03). Low self-rated health status was correlated with increased likelihood of alternative therapy use (borderline significance).

Conclusion: These results suggest that a patient who seeks treatment from one type of healthcare practitioner will seek out other practitioners as well. This study supports the notion that unconventional therapies are used in conjunction with, rather than instead of, mainstream medical care.

Rachel Dahan, MD, Shmuel Reis, MD, Doron Hermoni, MD and Jeffrey Borkan, MD
July 2000
Amalia Levy PhD, Victor Diomin MD, Jacob Gopas PhD, Samuel Ariad MD, Martin Sacks MB ChB FRCPath and Daniel Benharroch MD

Background: A previous study on Hodgkin's lymphoma in southern Israel found that Bedouin patients had an increased rate of Epstein-Barr virus expression in their tumor cells.

Objectives: To determine the influence of the patients' communities on the pattern of disease in HL.

Methods: We compared the clinical features, demographic data, stage at diagnosis, treatment modality and outcome, as well as laboratory findings, in four community-based subgroups. These groups comprised kibbutz residents (n=11), Bedouin (n=19), new immigrants from the former USSR (n=22), and town-dwellers (n=82).

Results: The Bedouin patients differed significantly from the new immigrants and town-dwellers, particularly regarding the rate of EBV sequences in the tumor tissues, and a poorer response to treatment. The kibbutz patients did not differ significantly from the other populations regarding most of the parameters studied, but showed an intermediate expression of EBV antigens compared to Bedouin patients and the rest of the cohort.

Conclusions: This study indicates that HL may behave differently in different population groups in a given geographic area. Notably, the Bedouin patients showed markedly different clinical and biological patterns of this malignancy. 

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HL= Hodgkin's lymphoma

EBV= Epstein-Barr virus

November 1999
Hava Tabenkin MD, Ada Tamir MD, Ami D. Sperber MD, MSPH, Micha Shapira MD and Pesach Shvartzman MD
 Background: Incidence rates for malignant melanoma in Israel are rising steadily, and the kibbutz population is at increased risk for this malignancy.

Objectives: To assess the risk factors for malignant melanoma among kibbutz members compared to matched healthy controls.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study of 168 malignant melanoma patients and 325 healthy controls, matched by age and gender. Data were collected on three categories of risk: demographic, personal (e.g., skin, eye and hair color), and environmental/behavioral (e.g., sun exposure, use of sunscreens).

Results: There were no differences between the groups regarding sociodemographic data. Significantly more patients than controls had fair, vulnerable skin (P<0.001), light eyes (P<0.05), and fair hair (P<0.001). There was no difference in family history of malignant melanoma or other cancers. Patients with malignant melanoma had significantly more additional skin lesions (e.g., keratoses) (P<0.001). More patients than controls recalled having been exposed to the sun for long periods when they were 6–13 years of age. A conditional logistic regression analysis showed that fair hair, fair vulnerable skin, and additional skin lesions were independently associated with malignant melanoma (P<0.01).

Conclusions: The main target population for interventions to reduce the incidence of malignant melanoma among kibbutz members should be individuals with these risk factors. A history of increased exposure to the sun from age 6 to 13 should also be taken into account as an independent risk factor. 

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