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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.04.24

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April 2024
Avi Ohry MD

Being in captivity as a prisoner of war (POW) and held by a hostile government usually occurs after a war. In general, wounded POWs do not receive proper medical treatment while being imprisoned or confined in a jail or a camp. War captivity could mean isolation, constant interrogations, humiliation, torture, malnutrition, starvation, and poor hygienic conditions. Immediately, or sometimes years after repatriation, mental and physical problems appear, which disturb the POW's social, family, and work networks. The suggested post-captivity condition assembles, under one umbrella, the various phenomena and complications after war captivity.

September 2023
Tamar Beck MD, Eyal Aviran MD, Shelly Cohn MD, David Goitein MD

Background: Long-term outcome data for bariatric surgery in patients with severe obesity (SO) (body mass index [BMI] ³ 50 kg/m2) are scarce.

Objectives: To compare perioperative morbidity and long-term outcomes between patients with SO and non-SO (NSO).

Methods: Patients with SO who underwent primary bariatric surgery with a follow-up ³ 5 years were age- and gender-matched with NSO patients in a retrospective, case-control study. Data included demographics, BMI, co-morbidities, early outcomes, current and nadir weight, co-morbidity status, and general satisfaction.

Results: Of 178 patients, 49.4% were male, mean age 44.5 ± 14 years. Mean preoperative BMI was 54.7 ± 3.6 and 41.8 ± 3.8 kg/m2 in SO and NSO, respectively (P = 0.02). Groups were similar in preoperative characteristics. Depression/anxiety was more prevalent in NSO (12.4% vs. 3.4%, P = 0.03). Obstructive sleep apnea was higher in SO (21.3% vs. 10.1%, P = 0.04). Sleeve gastrectomy was performed most often (80.9%), with a tendency toward bypass in SO (P = 0.05). Early complication rates were: 13.5% in SO and 12.4% in NSO (P = 0.82). Mean follow-up was 80.4 ± 13.3 months. BMI reduction was higher in SO (31.8 ± 5.9 vs. 26.8 ± 4.2 kg/m2, P < 0.001) and time to nadir weight was longer (22.1 ± 21.3 vs. 13.0 ± 12.0 months, P = 0.001). Co-morbidity improvement and satisfaction were similar.

Conclusions: Patients with SO benefited from bariatric surgery with reduced BMI and fewer co-morbidities. No added risk of operative complications was found compared to patients with NSO.

Adi Hertz MD, Scott Ehrenberg MD, Howard Amital MD MHA

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain syndrome primarily characterized by fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive impairment. Its etiology remains elusive despite ongoing research and has multifactorial elements. It has been shown that traumatic events and neuro-inflammation, autoimmunity, and genetic factors contribute to the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia syndrome.

Recent evidence has pointed to a bi-directional link between cardiovascular disease, traditional cardiovascular risk factors, and metabolic syndrome (MetS), together with the presence of fibromyalgia [1].

November 2022
Bar Pitaro Alter MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Yuval Kuntzman MD, Omer Gendelman MD, Guy Shalom MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Arnon D. Cohen MD MPH, Daniela Amital MD MHA

Backgrounds: Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic vasculitic multi-systemic disease of unknown etiology. BD is characterized by recurrent attacks of oral aphthae, genital ulcers, and uveitis. BD is a multisystemic disorder and as such it may provoke various psychiatric manifestations, including depression.

Objectives: To evaluate the association between BD and depression, adjusting for established risk factors for depression.

Methods: We executed a cross-sectional study based on the Clalit Health Services database, the largest healthcare organization in Israel, serving over 4.4 million members. For this study 873 BD patients were detected and matched with 4369 controls by age and sex.

Results: The rate of depression was higher among the BD patients compared with the control group (9.39% vs 5.49%, respectively, odds ratio [OR] 1.79, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.37–2.31, P < 0.001). An association between BD and depression was also observed on multivariable analysis (OR 1.83, 95%CI 1.39–2.39, P < 0.001). When stratifying the data, according to established risk factors, the association between BD and depression was prominent in the youngest age group (18–39 years of age), low and high socioeconomical status, and non-smokers.

Conclusions: Establishing the association between BD and depression should influence the attitude and the treatment of BD patients, as this relationship requires a more holistic approach and a multidisciplinary treatment regimen for all patient needs.

Adi Lichtenstein MD, Shmuel Tiosano MD, Doron Comaneshter MD, Arnon D. Cohen MD, Howard Amital MD

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness with associated neuropsychological symptoms such as fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, and depression. Osteoporosis is defined as a reduction of bone density. Previous studies to determine an association of FMS with osteoporosis showed mixed results, partially due to small sample sizes and lack of statistical power.

Objectives: To evaluate the association of FMS with osteoporosis.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study utilizing the database from Israel’s largest health maintenance organization. FMS patients were compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Data were analyzed using chi-square and t-tests. Multivariable logistic regression models assessed the association between osteoporosis and FMS. Spearman’s rho test was used for correlation.

Results: We utilized data from 14,296 FMS patients and 71,324 age- and sex-matched controls. Spearman's rho test showed a significant correlation between FMS and osteoporosis (correlation coefficient 0.55, P < 0.001). A logistic regression for osteoporosis showed an odds ratio [OR] of 1.94 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.83–2.06, P < 0.001) for FMS compared to controls and found higher body mass index to be slight protective (OR 0.926, 95%CI 0.92–0.93, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: There is a significant correlation between FMS and osteoporosis. Early detection of predisposing factors for osteoporosis in FMS patients and implementation of suitable treatments and prevention measures (such as dietary supplements, resistance or weight bearing exercise, and bone-mineral enhancing pharmacological therapy) may reduce both occurrence rate and severity of osteoporosis and its complications, such as fractures.

August 2022
Ido Tzanani MD MPH, Daniel Bendayan MD, Anat Jaffe MD PHD, and Zohar Mor MD MPH MHA

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the risk factors for progression from latent to active tuberculosis. However, the effect of DM on subsequent tuberculosis treatment is still inconclusive.

Objectives: To compare tuberculosis treatment outcomes and the rate of drug resistance of tuberculosis patients with or without DM.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted between 2005 and 2015 at the only tuberculosis ward in Israel. All 80 tuberculosis patients who had DM and were hospitalized during the study period were included in this study, as were a randomized sample of 213 tuberculosis patients without DM. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were collected from patient files in the hospital and clinics after discharge.

Results: Tuberculosis patients with DM were more often older and more likely to be Israeli citizens with a lower socioeconomic status than patients without DM. No statistically significant differences were found in clinical presentation, radiological findings, and sputum smear tests between the two groups. Culture converting times were prolonged in patients with DM compared to normoglycemic patients. Multidrug drug resistance tuberculosis was more common among normoglycemic tuberculosis patients than tuberculosis patients with DM (9.2% vs. 1.6%, P = 0.12). Treatment success rates were 76.2% and 83.1% for tuberculosis patients with or without DM, respectively (P = 0.18). DM was not statistically significant in the multivariate analysis predicting treatment success, which controlled for age, citizenship, compliance, addictions, and chronic diseases.

Conclusions: The presence of DM does not necessarily affect tuberculosis treatment outcomes as long as treatment compliance is optimal.

July 2022
Amit Frenkel MD MHA, Victor Novack MD PhD, Yoav Bichovsky MD, Moti Klein MD MPH, and Jacob Dreiher MD PhD MPH

Background: Low serum albumin is known to be associated with mortality in sepsis, as it reflects effects of nutrition, catabolism, and edema.

Objectives: To examine the association of albumin levels with in-hospital mortality in adults with sepsis, stratified by age groups.

Methods: This nationwide retrospective cohort study comprised patients admitted with sepsis to intensive care units in seven tertiary hospitals during 2003–2011. Only patients with available serum albumin levels at hospital admission and one week after were included. Patients with an intra-abdominal source of sepsis were excluded. The association between sepsis and mortality was analyzed using multivariate logistic regression models.

Results: The study included 3967 patients (58.7% male, median age 69 years). Mean serum albumin levels were 3.1 ± 0.7 g/dl at admission and 2.4 ± 0.6 g/dl one week later. In a multivariate logistic regression model, serum albumin one week after admission was inversely associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] 0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.55–0.73 per 1 g/dl). In an age-stratified analysis, the association was stronger with younger age (OR 0.44 for patients aged < 45 years, 0.60 for patients aged 45–65 years, and 0.67 for patients aged > 65 years). Serum albumin on admission was not associated with in-hospital mortality.

Conclusions: The decline in serum albumin one week after admission is a stronger predictor of mortality in younger patients. Older patients might have other reasons for low serum albumin, which reflect chronic co-morbidity rather than acuity of disease.

September 2021
Roy Croock MD, Jonathan Modai MD, Yuval Avda MD, Igal Shpunt MD, Yaniv Shilo MD, Yamit Peretz MD, Uri Lindner MD, Avraham Bercovich MD, and Dan Leibovici MD

Background: Radical cystectomy is a complicated surgery with significant risks. Complications of Clavien–Dindo grade 3–4 range from 25% to 40% while risk of mortality is 2%. Pelvic surgery or radiotherapy prior to radical cystectomy increases the challenges of this surgery.

Objectives: To assess whether radical cystectomy performed in patients with prior history of pelvic surgery or radiation was associated with increased frequency of Clavien–Dindo grade 3 or higher complications compared to patients without prior pelvic intervention.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all patients who underwent radical cystectomy at our center over a 7-year period. All patients with pelvic radiation or surgery prior to radical cystectomy comprised group 1, while group 2 included the remaining patients.

Results: In our study, 65 patients required radical cystectomy at our institution during the study period. Group 1 was comprised of 17 patients and group 2 included 48 patients. Four patients from group 2 received orthotopic neobladder, while an ileal conduit procedure was performed in the remaining patients. Estimated blood loss and the amount of blood transfusions given was the only variable found to be statistically different between the two groups. One patient from group 1 had four pelvic interventions prior to surgery, and her cystectomy was aborted.

Conclusions: Radical cystectomy may be safely performed in patients with a history of pelvic radiotherapy or surgery, with complication rates similar to those of non-irradiated or operated pelvises.

August 2021
Omer Marom MD, Eyal Yaacobi MD, Pnina Shitrit MD, Yaron Brin MD, Shimon Cohen MD, David Segal MD, and Nissim Ohana MD

Background: Proximal femoral fractures (PFF) are among the most common injuries in the elderly population treated by orthopedic surgeons. Postoperative complications, especially infections, are of great importance due to their effect on patient mortality and morbidity and healthcare costs.

Objectives: To assess the main causes for postoperative infection among PFF patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of PFF patients in our medical center between 2015 and 2017. Patients were divided into two groups based on whether there was postoperative infection during immediate hospitalization and 30 days after surgery. Factors such as time from admission to surgery, duration of surgery, and length of stay were analyzed. Groups were analyzed and compared using a t-test, chi-squared and Fisher’s exact tests.

Results: Of 1276 patients, 859 (67%) underwent closed reduction internal fixation, 67 (5%) underwent total hip arthroplasty, and 350 (28%) underwent hemiarthroplasty. Of the total, 38 patients (3%) were diagnosed with postoperative infection. The demographics and co-morbidities were similar between the two study groups. The incident of infection was the highest among patients undergoing hemiarthroplasty (6%, P < 0.0001). Length of hospitalization (15 vs. 8 days, P = 0.0001) and operative time (117 vs. 77 minutes, P = 0.0001) were found to be the most significant risk factors for postoperative infection.

Conclusions: Predisposition to postoperative infections in PPF patients was associated with prolonged length of surgery and longer hospitalization. We recommend optimizing fast discharge, selecting the appropriate type of surgery, and improving surgical planning to reduce intraoperative delays and length of surgery.

June 2021
Ariel Zilberlicht MD, Dan Abramov MD, Nir Kugelman MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Yossef Elias CPA, and Yoram Abramov MD

Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that presents an urgent challenge to global health and economy.

Objectives: To assess the effects of population median age and mean ambient temperature on the COVID-19 global pandemic burden.

Methods: We used databases from open access public domains to record population median age, mean ambient temperature, and the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths on days 14 and 28 from the pandemic outbreak for each country in the world. We then calculated the correlation between these parameters.

Results: The analysis included 202 countries. A univariate analysis showed that population median age significantly correlated with the cumulative number of cases and deaths, while mean ambient temperature showed a significant inverse correlation with the cumulative number of deaths on days 14 and 28 from the epidemic outbreak. After a multivariate logistic regression analysis only population median age retained its statistically significant correlation.

Conclusions: Country population median age significantly correlated with COVID-19 pandemic burden while mean ambient temperature shows a significant inverse correlation only in univariate analysis. Countries with older populations encountered a heavier burden from the COVID-19 pandemic. This information may be valuable for health systems in planning strategies for combating this global health hazard.

September 2020
Arieh Riskin MD PhD, Omer Itzchaki BSc, David Bader MD MHA, Adir Iofe MD, Arina Toropine MD and Shlomit Riskin-Mashiah MD MPH

Background: The incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing in parallel to the worldwide obesity and type 2 diabetes pandemic. Both GDM and pre-gestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM) are associated with short- and long-term consequences in the offspring. There are few recent studies addressing outcomes of newborns born to women diagnosed with GDM and PGDM in Israel.

Objectives: To assess perinatal complications in offspring of women with GDM and PGDM.

Methods: The authors conducted a single-center retrospective case-control study of outcomes of all newborns whose mothers had been diagnosed with diabetes in pregnancy compared to randomly assigned controls born on the same date, whose mothers had no diabetes.

Results: In the study period 2015–2017, 526 mothers diagnosed with GDM or PGDM and their newborn infants were identified. The authors randomly assigned 526 control infants. The rate of women with diabetes in pregnancy was 5.0%. Mothers with GDM and PGDM had higher rates of pre-eclampsia, multiple pregnancies, and preterm deliveries. Mothers with PGDM had significantly higher rates of intrauterine fetal demise (4.3%), congenital anomalies (12.8%), and small-for-gestational-age neonates (10.6%) compared to controls (0%, 3.2%, and 4.2%, respectively, P < 0.001). The risks for preterm or cesarean delivery, large-for-gestational-age neonate, respiratory morbidity, hypoglycemia, and polycythemia were increased in offspring of mothers with diabetes, especially PGDM.

Conclusions: Despite all the advancements in prenatal care, diabetes in pregnancy, both PGDM and GDM, is still associated with significant morbidities and complications in offspring. Better preconception and inter-pregnancy care might reduce these risks

July 2020
Michal Levmore-Tamir MD, Giora Weiser MD, Elihay Berliner MD, Matityahu Erlichman MD, Carmit Avnon Ziv MD, Floris Levy-Khademi MD

Background: Stress hyperglycemia (SH) is a common finding in patients in pediatric emergency departments (PED) and has been related to increased morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To assess the incidence of SH among children visiting the PED. To identify which diseases predispose patients to SH and whether they indicate a worse outcome.

Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from the medical records of all children aged 0–18 years who visited the PED during the years 2010–2014 and who had a glucose level of ≥ 150 mg/dl. Data collected included age, gender, weight, blood glucose level, presence or absence of a pre-existing or a new diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, and previous treatment with medications affecting blood glucose levels or with intravenous fluids containing dextrose. Data were collected regarding hospitalization, duration of hospitalization, discharge diagnosis, and survival status.

Results: The study population included 1245 children with SH, which comprised 2.6% of all patients whose blood glucose level was measured in the PED during the study period. The mean age of children with SH was 49 months; 709 (56.9%) were male. The mean blood glucose level was 184 mg/dl. The rate of hospitalization was 57.8%. The mean duration of hospital stay was 5.6 days and mortality rate was 0.96%. The majority were diagnosed with a respiratory illness.

Conclusions: SH is a common phenomenon among children evaluated in the PED and is associated with a high incidence of hospitalization. It may serve as an additional clinical indicator of disease severity.

March 2020
Misgav Rottenstreich MD MBA, Ortal Reznick MD, Hen Y. Sela MD, Alexander Ioscovich MD, Sorina Grisaro Granovsky MD PhD, Carolyn F. Weiniger MD and Sharon Einav MD MSc

Background: Admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) is an objective marker of severe maternal morbidity (SMM).

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of obstetric ICU admissions in one medical center in Israel and to characterize this population.

Methods: In this retrospective study the files of women coded for pregnancy, birth, or the perinatal period and admission to the ICU were pulled for data extraction (2005–2013).

Results: During the study period, 111 women were admitted to the ICU among 120,279 women who delivered babies (0.09%). Their average age was 30 ± 6 years, most were multigravida, a few had undergone fertility treatments, and only 27% had complicated previous pregnancies. Most pregnancies (71.2%) were uneventful prior to admission. ICU admissions were divided equally between direct (usually hemorrhage) and indirect (usually cardiac disease) obstetric causes.

Conclusions: The indications for obstetrics ICU admission correlated with the proximate causes of maternal arrest observed worldwide. While obstetric hemorrhage is often unpredictable, deterioration of heart disease is foreseeable. Attention should be directed specifically toward improving the diagnosis and treatment of maternal heart disease during pregnancy in Israel.

January 2020
Daniel Silverberg MD, Ahmad Abu Rmeileh MD, Daniel Raskin MD, Uri Rimon MD and Moshe Halak MD

Background: Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) is associated with decreased perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To report the outcomes of EVAR among patients older than 80 years of age.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed patients older than 80 years of age who underwent elective EVAR at our institution between 2007 and 2017. The demographics, perioperative morbidity and mortality, and long-term results are reported.

Results: During the study period, 444 patients underwent elective EVAR for AAAs. Among them 128 patients (29%) were > 80 years of age. Mean age was 84 ± 3.4 (range 80–96) years, and 110 patients (86%) were male. The EVAR was technically successful in 127 patients (99%) and there were intraoperative mortalities. Within 30 days of the surgery, nine patients (7%) died. Major and minor adverse events occurred in 26 (20%) and 59 (46%) patients, respectively. Factors associated with increased risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality included chronic kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, and the existence of three or more co-morbidities.

Conclusions: EVAR in the elderly can be performed with a high rate of success; however, it is associated with a substantial rate of morbidity and mortality, particularly when patients present with multiple co-morbidities. When performing EVAR in this population group, the risk of rupture must be considered opposed to the life expectancy of these patients and the risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality.

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