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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.04.24

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March 2024
Joseph Mendlovic MD MHA, Yuval Dadon MD MBA MPH, Francis B. Mimouni MD

Background: According to Hamas sources, many Israeli hostages in Gaza were killed by indiscriminate Israeli airstrikes, together with a large number of Palestinian citizens.

Objectives: To verify whether the estimated death rate of Israeli hostages was similar to the estimated death rate of Gaza citizens from these acts of war.

Methods: We used two estimates of hostage death rates, one obtained from Israeli intelligence sources, and one published by a Hamas spokesperson. We used the Palestinian casualty rates published by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. We compared death rates using Fisher's exact test.

Results: By 30 December 2023, the rate of Israeli hostage death was 23/238 (9.7%) according to Israeli intelligence sources, and 60/238 (25.2%) according to Hamas. Both figures are strikingly and significantly higher than the death rate among Palestinians, estimated to be 19,667/2.2 million (0.89%) by 19 December 2023 (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Israeli airstrikes as the cause of death of Israeli hostages are implausible unless they were specifically exposed to these strikes more than Palestinian citizens.

October 2023
Rotem Tal-Ben Ishay MD MPH, Kobi Faierstein MD, Haim Mayan MD, Noya Shilo MD

Background: At the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presented a new burden on healthcare systems.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the outcome of non-COVID patients in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study at a tertiary medical center in Israel. From December 2018 until June 2022, 6796 patients were hospitalized in the internal medicine wards. Patients were grouped based on their admission date: admitted during COVID waves (waves group), admitted between waves (interim group), and admitted during the same months in the previous year (former-year group).

Results: Mortality during hospitalization and 30-day mortality were higher in the waves group compared to the interim and former-year groups (41.4% vs. 30.5% and 24%, 19.4% vs. 17.9% and 12.9%, P < 0.001). In addition, 1-year mortality was higher in the interim group than in the waves and former-year group (39.1 % vs. 32.5% and 33.4%, P = 0.002). There were significant differences in the readmissions, both at 1 year and total number. The waves group had higher rates of mechanical ventilation and noradrenaline administration during hospitalization. Moreover, the waves group exhibited higher troponin levels, lower hemoglobin levels, and more abnormalities in liver and kidney function.

Conclusions: Hospitalized non-COVID patients experienced worse outcomes during the peaks of the pandemic compared to the nadirs and the preceding year, perhaps due to the limited availability of resources. These results underscore the importance of preparing for large-scale threats and implementing effective resource allocation policies.

September 2023
Alaa Atamna MD, Evgeny Berkov MD, Genady Drozdinsky MD, Tzippy Shochat MD, Haim Ben Zvi MD, Noa Eliakim-Raz MD, Jihad Bishara MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory diseases with similar modes of transmission. In December 2021, influenza re-emerged after it had been undetected since March 2020 and the Omicron variant replaced the Delta variant. Data directly comparing the two diseases are scarce.

Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients with both the Omicron variant and influenza during 2021–2022.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study conducted in Beilinson hospital, Israel, from December 2021 to January 2022. We included all hospitalized patients with either laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or influenza. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality.

Results: We identified 167 patients diagnosed with Omicron and 221 diagnosed with Influenza A. The median age was 71 years for Omicron and 65 years for influenza. Patients with Omicron had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score (4 vs. 3, P < 0.001). Patients with Omicron developed more respiratory failure that needed mechanical ventilation (7% vs. 2%, P = 0.05) and vasopressors (14% vs. 2%, P < 0.001) than patients with influenza. In a multivariate model, 30-day mortality was lower in patients diagnosed with influenza than in patients diagnosed with Omicron (19/221 [9%] vs. 44/167 [26%], hazard ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.81).

Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with Omicron had higher mortality than patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza. This finding could be due to differences in co-morbidities, the virus pathogenicity, and host responses to infection.

August 2023
Maya Shina MD, Fabio Kusniec MD, Guy Rozen MD MHA, Shemy Carasso MD FESC FASE, David Planer MD, Ronny Alcalai MD, Liza Grosman-Rimon PhD, Gabby Elbaz-Greener MD MHA DRCPSC, Offer Amir MD FACC

Background: Among the most frequent complications following transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is hemostasis imbalance that presents either as thromboembolic or bleeding. Deviations in platelet count (PC) and mean platelet volume (MPV) are markers of hemostasis imbalance.

Objectives: To determine the predictive value of pre- and post-procedural PC and MPV fL 1-year all-cause mortality in patients who underwent TAVR.

Methods: In this population-based study, we included 236 TAVR patients treated at the Tzafon Medical Center between 1 June 2015 and 31 August 2018. Routine blood samples for serum PC levels and MPV fL were taken just before the TAVR and 24-hour post-TAVR. We used backward regression models to evaluate the predictive value of PC and MPV in all-cause mortality in TAVR patients.

Results: In this study cohort, MPV levels 24-hour post-TAVR that were greater than the cohort median of 9 fL (interquartile range 8.5–9.8) were the strongest predictor of 1-year mortality (hazard ratio 1.343, 95% confidence interval 1.059–1.703, P-value 0.015). A statistically significant relationship was seen in the unadjusted regression model as well as after the adjustment for clinical variables.

Conclusions: Serum MPV levels fL 24-hour post-procedure were found to be meaningful markers in predicting 1-year all-cause mortality in patients after TAVR.

July 2023
Yaron Niv MD AGAF FACG, Michael Kuniavsky RN PhD, Olga Bronshtein RN MSc, Nethanel Goldschmidt MSc, Shuli Hanhart MSc, Alexander Konson RN PhD, Hannah Mahalla BSc

Background: Up to half the patients diagnosed with acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presented with gastrointestinal symptoms. Gastric mucosal cells, enterocytes, and colonocytes express the viral entry receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and coreceptor transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and are prone to infection. Direct infection of gastrointestinal epithelial cells has been demonstrated. COVID-19 disease was first diagnosed in Israel at the end of February 2020 with 842,536 confirmed cases and 6428 deaths by the end of June 2021. In our multicenter, retrospective cohort study, we looked for gastrointestinal signs and symptoms in two periods and correlated them with mortality. Period 1 included the first and second waves and the original virus. Period 2 represented the third wave and the alpha variant.

Objectives: To reveal gastrointestinal signs and symptoms in two periods and correlate them with mortality.

Methods: From 22,302 patients hospitalized in general medical centers, we randomly selected 3582 from Period 1 and 1106 from Period 2. The study was performed before vaccinations were available.

Results: Gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and taste/smell loss were significantly more prevalent during Period 1. Thirty-day mortality and in-hospital mortality were significantly higher in Period 2 than in Period 1, 25.20% vs. 13.68%, and 21.17% vs. 12.87%, respectively (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Thirty-day mortality and in-hospital mortality rates were 1.84 and 1.64 times higher from 6 November 2020 to 15 January 2021, the alpha variant, and in negative correlation with gastrointestinal symptoms.

Zach Rozenbaum MD, Orly Sapir MD, Yoav Granot MD, Joshua H. Arnold MD MS, Simon Biner MD, Yan Topilsky MD, Michal Laufer-Perl MD

Background: Small left atria (LA) is associated with an increased risk of mortality.

Objectives: To determine whether the attributed risk of mortality is influenced by the underlying etiologies leading to decreased volumes.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated patients with an available LA volume index (LAVI) as measured by echocardiography who came to our institution between 2011 and 2016. Individuals with small LA (LAVI < 16 ml/m2) were included and divided according to the etiology of the small LA (determined or indeterminate) and investigated according to the specific etiology.

Results: The cohort consisted of 288 patients with a mean age of 56 ± 18 years. An etiology for small LA was determined in 84% (n=242). The 1-year mortality rate of the entire cohort was 20.5%. Patients with indeterminate etiology (n=46) demonstrated a lower mortality rate compared with determined etiologies (8.7% vs. 22.7%, P = 0.031). However, following propensity score adjustments for baseline characteristics, there was no significant difference between the groups (P = 0.149). The only specific etiology independently associated with 1-year mortality was the presence of space occupying lesions (odds ratio 3.26, 95% confidence interval 1.02–10.39, P = 0.045).

Conclusions: Small LA serve as a marker for negative outcomes, and even in cases of undetected etiology, the prognosis remains poor. The presence of small LA should alert the physician to a high risk of mortality, regardless of the underlying disease.

March 2023
Eyal Leibovitz MD, Mona Boaz PhD, Israel Khanimov MD, Gary Mosiev MD, Mordechai Shimonov MD

Background: Despite its wide use, evidence is inconclusive regarding the effect of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) in patients with chronic diseases and dementia among hospitalized patients with malnutrition.

Objectives: To examine the effect of PEG insertion on prognosis after the procedure.

Methods: This retrospective analysis of medical records included all adult patients who underwent PEG insertion between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2013 during their hospitalization. For each PEG patient, two controls similar in age, sex, referring department, and underlying condition were randomly selected from the entire dataset of patients admitted. The effect of PEG on mortality and repeated admissions was examined.

Results: The study comprised 154 patients, 49 referred for PEG insertion and 105 controls (mean age 74.8 ± 19.8 years; 72.7% females; 78.6% admitted to internal medicine units). Compared to controls, the PEG group had a higher 2-year mortality rate (59.2% vs. 17.1%, P < 0.001) but the 2-year readmission rate did not differ significantly (44.9% vs. 56.2% respectively, P = 0.191). Regression analysis showed PEG was  associated with increased risk of the composite endpoint of death or readmission (hazard ratio 1.514, 95% confidence interval 1.016–2.255, P = 0.041). No specific characteristic of admission was associated with increased likelihood of death or readmission. Among readmitted patients, reasons for admission and baseline laboratory data, including albumin and cholesterol, did not differ between the PEG patients and controls.

Conclusions: In-hospital PEG insertion was associated with increased mortality at 2 years but had no effect on readmissions.

February 2023
Elchanan Parnasa MD, Ofer Perzon MD, Aviad Klinger, Tehila Ezkoria MA, Matan Fischer MD

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has severe consequences in terms of mortality and morbidity. Knowledge of factors that impact COVID-19 may be useful in the search for treatments.

Objectives: To determine the effect of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency on morbidly and mortality associated with COVID-19.

Methods: All patients admitted to Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center between 01 March 2020 and 03 May 2021 with a diagnosis of COVID-19 were included. We retrospectively retrieved demographic, clinical, and laboratory data from the hospital’s electronic medical records. The main outcomes were mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and severity of COVID-19.

Results: The presence of G6PD deficiency emerged as an independent protective predictor for ICU admission (odds ratio [OR] 0.258, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.077–0.619, P = 0.003) and the development of critical illness (OR 0.121, 95%CI 0.005–0.545, P = 0.006). Moreover, patients with G6PD deficiency had a trend toward lower mortality rates that did not reach statistical significance (OR 0.541, 95%CI 0.225–1.088, P = 0.10).

Conclusions: Patients with G6PD deficiency were less likely to have a severe disease, had lower rates of ICU admission, and trended toward lower mortality rates.

January 2023
Matan Elkan MD, Yarden Zohar MD, Shani Zilberman-Itskovich MD, Ronit Zaidenstein MD, Ronit Koren MD

Background: Higher body mass index (BMI) has been shown to be a protective factor from mortality in sepsis patients. Yet, whether this effect is different in the very elderly is currently unknown.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between BMI and sepsis outcomes in patients older and younger than 80 years of age.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients admitted with sepsis to Shamir Medical Center, Israel, was conducted. We compared patients older than and younger than 80 years of age with a BMI higher and lower than 25 kg/m² for hospitalization outcomes.

Results: Patients older than 80 years presented with multiple co-morbidities compared to younger patients, but with no difference between BMI groups. Similarly, hospitalization outcomes of functional deterioration, discharge to long-term care facilities, and readmission were not significantly different between BMI groups in the same age category. Mortality was significantly different between BMI groups in patients older than 80 years of age, with higher mortality in BMI < 25 kg/m²: in-hospital mortality (23.4% vs. 14.9%, P < 0.001), 30-day mortality (27.6% vs. 17.9%, P < 0.001), and 90-day mortality (43.4% vs. 28.9%, P < 0.001). This difference was not significant between the groups younger than 80 years old. On logistic regression, BMI over 25 kg/m² was protective in all mortality categories. Nevertheless, there was no significant interaction between age over 80 years to BMI over 25 kg/m² in all mortality outcomes.

Conclusions: Among patients hospitalized with sepsis, higher BMI is a protective factor against mortality in both elderly and younger patients.

Maya Yakir MD, Adi Brom MD, Amitai Segev MD, Gad Segal MD

Background: The prognosis of long-term clinical outcomes for each patient is of utmost importance.

Objectives: To evaluate the association between rates of family attendance during rounds and long-term outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a historic cohort study.

Results: We followed 200 consecutive patients for a median of 19 months. Within the group of patients that had family members present in > 75% of rounds, the 30-day re-hospitalization rate was tenfold higher (P = 0.017). The overall prognosis (including median survival length) of patients who had the highest rates of family attendance (> 75%) was significantly worse compared to patients who had lower rates (P = 0.028). High rates of family attendance were found to correlate with other established risk factors for long-term mortality, including advanced age (r = 0.231, P = 0.001) and in-hospital delirium.

Conclusions: High family attendance during physician rounds in an internal medicine department is associated with worse patient prognosis.

December 2022
Noy Nachmias-Peiser MD, Shelly Soffer MD, Nir Horesh MD, Galit Zlotnick MD, Marianne Michal Amitai Prof, Eyal Klang MD

Background: Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) is a medical condition with high levels of morbidity and mortality. However, most patients suspected of AMI will eventually have a different diagnosis. Nevertheless, these patients have a high risk for co-morbidities.

Objectives: To analyze patients with suspected AMI with an alternative final diagnosis, and to evaluate a machine learning algorithm for prognosis prediction in this population.

Methods: In a retrospective search, we retrieved patient charts of those who underwent computed tomography angiography (CTA) for suspected AMI between January 2012 and December 2015. Non-AMI patients were defined as patients with negative CTA and a final clinical diagnosis other than AMI. Correlation of past medical history, laboratory values, and mortality rates were evaluated. We evaluated gradient boosting (XGBoost) model for mortality prediction.

Results: The non-AMI group comprised 325 patients. The two most common groups of diseases included gastrointestinal (33%) and biliary-pancreatic diseases (27%). Mortality rate was 24.6% for the entire cohort. Medical history of chronic kidney disease (CKD) had higher risk for mortality (odds ratio 2.2). Laboratory studies revealed that lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) had the highest diagnostic ability for predicting mortality in the entire cohort (AUC 0.70). The gradient boosting model showed an area under the curve of 0.82 for predicting mortality.

Conclusions: Patients with suspected AMI with an alternative final diagnosis showed a 25% mortality rate. A past medical history of CKD and elevated LDH were associated with increased mortality. Non-linear machine learning algorithms can augment single variable inputs for predicting mortality.

November 2022
Raymond Farah MD, Nicola Makhoul MD, Alexander Samohvalov MD, William Nseir MD

Background: An increased serum glucose level is a common finding among patients admitted to hospital with acute illness, including the intensive care unit (ICU), even without a history of previous diabetes mellitus (DM). Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is not only a diagnostic tool for DM but may also has prognostic value for diabetic and non-diabetic populations.

Objectives: To assess the relationship between HbA1c level on admission and clinical outcome among patients admitted to the ICU due to cardiopulmonary disorders with hyperglycemia.

Methods: Patients consecutively admitted to the ICU due to cardiopulmonary disorders who presented with hyperglycemia at admission were evaluated during a 6-month period. HbA1c and serum glucose levels were tested on admission and during the first 24–48 hours of hospitalization. Patients were divided according to HbA1c and compared in term of demographics. We evaluated the effect of HbA1c levels at admission on the clinical outcomes.

Results: Of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders who presented with hyperglycemia at admission to the ICU, 73 had HbA1c levels ≥ 6%, 92 had HbA1c levels < 6%: 63/165 (38.2%) known as diabetic patients. The 30-day all-cause mortality was higher in the group with high HbA1c levels; 38/73 vs. 32/98 (P = 0.02). Increased length of stay in the ICU and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score were associated with HbA1c ≥ 6% (P < 0.022 and P < 0.026), respectively

Conclusions: HbA1c ≥ 6% has an important clinical prognostic value among diabetic and non-diabetic patients with cardiopulmonary disorders and hyperglycemia.

October 2022
Sari Tal MD

Background: Hospitalization is an inherently serious event in the oldest-old, as the risk of complications associated with it increases exponentially with age and can lead to death. Despite the size of the problem, few studies have been dedicated to determining mortality predictors among hospitalized older patients, particularly among the oldest-old.

Objectives: To examine in-hospital mortality predictors in the oldest-old adults hospitalized in an acute geriatric ward.

Methods: We retrospectively surveyed electronic hospital health records of 977 elderly patients, aged ³ 90 years, admitted between January 2007 and December 2010 from the emergency department to the acute geriatrics department. We compared the characteristics of the patients who survived to those who died during the hospital stay.

Results: The patients mean age was 93.4 years. In-hospital mortality rate was about 11.6%. Mortality predictors were female sex, on-admission pneumonia, co-morbid congestive heart failure and cerebrovascular accident, high troponin I levels, lower levels of albumin, and higher level of urea (P = 0.032, P < 0.0001, P = 0.0015, P = 0.0049, P = 0.0503, P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Consumption of ³ 5 drugs and the number of hospitalizations in the last year were inversely associated with death (P = 0.0145 and P < 0.0001, respectively).

Conclusions: Careful evaluation of mortality predictors might be useful for therapeutic planning and identification of potential inpatients for specific interventions. Awareness of in-hospital mortality predictors might contribute to reducing in-hospital death.

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.

December 2021
Noa Berar Yanay MD, Muhammad Abu Arisha MD, and Yaron Berkowitz MD

Background: Hip fracture is common in elderly patients and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Acute kidney injury (AKI) following hip fracture may have additional impact on clinical outcomes.

Objectives: To investigate the incidence of AKI, the risk factors for its occurrence and impact on mortality, timing of surgery, and length of hospitalization (LOS) in patients undergoing hip fracture surgery.

Methods: We retrospectively examined the records of patients who underwent hip fracture surgery between 2013 and 2017. All patients had a baseline serum creatinine value and at least one later value. AKI was defined according to KDIGO guidelines.

Results: The study included 511 patients. Mean age was 72.6 years, 325 males (63.4%); 151 (29.5%) had baseline eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73m2. Of these, 87 (17%) developed AKI. Older age, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and chronic heart condition were significantly more common in patients who developed AKI. Patients with AKI had increased 30-day mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 3.96, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.62–9.7, P = 0.003) and mortality at one year (HR 2.72, 95%CI 1.5–4.9, P = 0.002). AKI was associated with surgery delay > 48 hours (HR 2.241, 95%CI 1.206–4.165, P = 0.011). Mean LOS was 10.9 days and 8 days for patients with AKI and without, respectively, P < 0.0001.

Conclusions: AKI is a common complication in patients with hip fracture and is associated with increased short- and long-term mortality, delayed surgery, and longer hospitalization. Interventions identifying and monitoring patients at risk may contribute to improve the outcomes

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