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עמוד בית
Tue, 27.02.24

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November 2010
L. Rubin, S. Nir-Inbar and S. Rishpon

Background: The rate and duration of breastfeeding in Ethiopia is very high. Factors that could affect breastfeeding among women emigrating to Israel include the desire to adopt "modern" behaviors, the availability of infant formulas, and the greater awareness of AIDS and fear of transmission via breast milk.

Objectives: To examine the rate and duration of breastfeeding among recent Ethiopian immigrants to Israel.

Methods Using a structured questionnaire we interviewed 93 Ethiopian born mothers of children aged 2 months to 5 years living in northern Israel.

Results: Ninety-two percent of the children born in Ethiopia were exclusively breastfed as compared to 76.3% of the Israeli born children, in whom the rate of mixed feeding was 18.3%. Although the duration of breastfeeding of the youngest child was significantly shorter than of the firstborn (20.1 vs. 24.8 months), it remains much longer than the average duration for native Israeli mothers. No association was seen between breastfeeding rate or duration and the years since immigration, work outside the home or exposure to formula. The women’s attitude towards breastfeeding was positive despite the lack of specific knowledge concerning breast milk and infant formulas.

Conclusions: Breastfeeding patterns among Ethiopian women have changed since their immigration to Israel. These changes probably reflect the cultural and societal pressures to acculturate to the mores of the adopted society. Reinforcing traditional family and peer support for these women is important to preserve breastfeeding in this population. This should be done within the context of changes in the support for breastfeeding in the general Israeli society.

September 2010
J. Zlotogora, Z. Haklai, N. Rotem, M. Georgi and L. Rubin

Background: Ultrasound examination of the fetus enables diagnosis of many major malformations during pregnancy, providing the possibility to consider interruption of the pregnancy. As a result, in many cases the incidence of malformations at birth does not represent their true incidence.

Objectives: To determine the impact of prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy on the relative incidence of malformations at birth among Jews and Muslim Arabs in Israel.

Methods: Data on selected major malformations in 2000–2003 were collected from the two large central databases of the Ministry of Health and the Central Bureau of Statistics which contain information regarding births, stillbirths and terminations of pregnancies.

Results: For many malformations the total incidence was much higher than the incidence at birth. For almost all of the malformations studied, the total incidence was higher in Muslims than in Jews and the differences were further accentuated among the liveborn because of the differences in the rate of pregnancy terminations.

Conclusions: In order to detect possible influences of environmental or genetic factors on major malformations in Israel, it is critical to look at data including pregnancy terminations, stillbirths and live births.

May 2010
O. Hochwald, E.S. Bamberger, L. Rubin, R. Gershtein and I. Srugo

Background: An outbreak of pertussis occurred in a daycare center with 87.5% vaccination coverage.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of the acellular pertussis vaccine and prevention of pertussis after chemoprophylaxis with azithromycin.

Methods: We studied 31 daycare children aged 3–5.5 years exposed to a child with pertussis. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained for Bordetella pertussis culture and polymerase chain reaction initially, and at days 21 and 60 of follow-up, in cases exhibiting symptoms.

Results: Of the 31 daycare children 6 (19%) tested positive for B. pertussis by PCR[1], 4 of whom had not been vaccinated against the disease. Of the two vaccinated children who contracted pertussis, one had milder symptoms and the other was asymptomatic. The incidence of pertussis was significantly lower in the vaccinated group (2/27) than in the unvaccinated group (4/4) (P = 0.000), with efficacy of the vaccine calculated to be 92.5%. Azithromycin chemoprophylaxis was taken only by 14 of the 25 exposed children (56%). On day 21 follow-up, there was no further laboratory-diagnosed B. pertussis cases in any of the exposed children, regardless of whether or not chemoprophylaxis was taken.

Conclusions: Based on the children’s clinical manifestations and PCR findings a pertussis outbreak had occurred in the daycare center studied. Our findings support the importance of pertussis vaccination since all the unvaccinated children in the daycare center contracted the infection.

 



[1] PCR = polymerase chain reaction
 
 
June 2005
E. Bamberger, N. Lahat, V. Gershtein, R. Gershtein, D. Benilevi, S. Shapiro, I. Kassis, L. Rubin and I. Srugo
 Background: Whereas the diagnosis of classical pertussis has traditionally been based on clinical criteria, increasing numbers of atypical presentations suggest the need for an extensive laboratory-based approach.

Objectives: To assess the relative efficacy of clinical and laboratory methods in the diagnosis of Bordetella pertussis by patient age and immunization status.

Methods: We compared the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of B. pertussis in 87 pre-vaccinated, 78 recently vaccinated, and 75 post-vaccinated children with suspected pertussis. Serum and nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained for serology, culture and polymerase chain reaction.

Results: PCR[1] and culture identified 41% and 7% of patients with B. pertussis, respectively (P < 0.001). All positive cultures were PCR-positive. Positive PCR was less common among those recently vaccinated than among those in the pre- (P < 0.001) and post-vaccinated groups (P < 0.05). Positive culture was more common among those pre-vaccinated than among those recently vaccinated (P < 0.01). Positive tests for immunoglobulin M and A were more common among the post-vaccinated than the pre- and recently vaccinated (P < 0.001), respectively. Logistic regression analyses revealed that clinical criteria have no significant association with infection in recently and post-vaccinated children. Among the pre-vaccinated children, whoop and cough duration were associated with a positive PCR (odds ratio 7.66 and 0.5, P < 0.001). Seventy-six percent of pre-vaccinated, 39% of recently vaccinated and 40% of post-vaccinated children with positive PCR did not meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control diagnostic criteria for B. pertussis.

Conclusions: PCR is a useful tool for pertussis diagnosis, particularly in pre-vaccinated infants. The yield of culture and serology is limited, especially among pre- and recently vaccinated children. In pre-vaccinated infants with whoop and less than 2 weeks of cough, PCR testing should be implemented promptly.


 





[1] PCR = polymerase chain reaction


December 2000
Sonia Habib, MD, MPH, Shmuel Rishpon, MD, MPH and Lisa Rubin, MD, MPH
 Objective: To determine the vaccination rates among healthcare workers in the Haifa subdistrict and to assess factors associated with vaccination uptake among them.

Methods: The study was conducted in the three general hospitals in Haifa City, and in five nursing homes in the Haifa subdistrict. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 1,014 employees of whom 71% were females, 34% were nurses, 27% were physicians and 28% were non-professional workers.

Results: The crude response rate was 66%. Response rates were higher in females (71%) than in males (49%), in nurses (70%) than in physicians (43%), and in staff of internal and pediatric departments than in workers of surgery departments and emergency rooms. The overall vaccination rate among the respondents was 11%, which was higher among males (15%) than among females (10%). No significant relationship between vaccination rate and age, occupation and department was found. The vaccination rate among employees with chronic illness was very low (7%). Influenza vaccine was actively recommended to 29% of the employees. The main reasons for non-compliance were low awareness of the severity of the disease and of the vaccine's efficacy and safety, and unavailability of the vaccine within the workplace.

Conclusions: Educational efforts and offering the vaccine at the workplace at no cost are the most important measures for raising influenza vaccination rates.

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