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עמוד בית
Tue, 05.12.23

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October 2009
N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne and U. Goldbourt

Background: The incidence of stroke varies among ethnically and culturally diverse groups.

Objectives: To examine the ethnic-geographic patterns of stroke incidence in men and women with coronary heart disease in Israel, focusing on the extent to which this variability can be explained by known differences in risk factors for stroke.

Methods: Patients with documented coronary heart disease were followed for 6–8 years for incident cerebrovascular events. Baseline medical evaluation included assessment of vascular risk factors and measures of blood lipids. Among 15,052 patients, a total of 1110 were identified with any incident ischemic cerebrovascular event by ICD-9 codes, of whom 613 had confirmed ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack.

Results: A major excess of ischemic cerebrovascular events among Israeli Arab women as compared to males, and an inverse finding among Israeli born Jews, were noted. The high risk in the Arab population in Israel reflected an unfavorable risk profile, since predicted rates by multivariate analysis and observed rates were 69 and 68 per 1000, respectively. High ischemic cerebrovascular event rates were identified among patients born in the Balkan countries and North Africa (89 and 90 per 1000) but unfavorable risk factor levels of these individuals did not explain them. Most trends appeared similar in male and female patients. A comparison of observed and accepted-according-to-risk-profile rates of ischemic cerebrovascular events yielded significant differences (P = 0.04), consistent with an additional role of geographic/ethnic origin, resulting from factors that remain unrecognized,or with variables unassessed in this study.

Conclusions: We identified an ethnic diversity in stroke risk among Israeli born in different parts of the world beyond what could be expected on the basis of differences in known risk factors. These findings call for detailed research aimed at identifying additional differences in the risk profile of patients with atherothrombotic disease exposed to an increased risk of stroke.

July 2009
D. Freimark, M. Arad, S. Matetzky, I. DeNeen, L. Gershovitz, N. Koren Morag, N. Hochberg, Y. Makmal and M. Shechter

Background: Chronic heart failure is associated with excessive hospitalizations and poor prognosis.

Objectives: To summarize the 5 year experience of a single-center CHF[1] day care service, detect the cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular events, and evaluate the safety of the treatments provided.

Methods: We retrospectively studied all patients admitted to the CHF day care service of the Sheba Medical Center between September 2000 and September 2005.

Results: Advanced (New York Heart Association class III-IV) CHF patients (n=190), mean age 65 ± 12 years and left ventricular ejection fraction 25 ± 11%, were treated for 6 hourly biweekly visits; 77% had ischemic and 23% had non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. Treatment included: intravenous diuretic combinations (91%), intermittent low dose (≤ 5 mg/kg/min) dobutamine (87%), low dose (≤ 3 mg/kg/min) dopamine (38%), intravenous iron preparation and/or blood (47%), and intravenous nitropruside (36%). Follow-up of at least 1 year from initiation of therapy was completed in 158 of 190 patients (83%). Forty-six (29.3%) died: 23% due to CHF exacerbation, 5.7% from infection, 4.4% from sudden cardiac death, 3.8% from malignancy, 2.5% from malignant arrhythmias, 1.9% from renal failure, 1.3% from stroke, and 0.6% from myocardial infarction. There were only 0.68 rehospitalizations/patient/year; the most frequent cause being CHF exacerbation (16.5%).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates the safety and potential benefits of a supportive day care service for advanced CHF patients. Multidrug intravenous treatment, accompanied by monitoring of electrolytes, hemoglobin and cardiac rhythm, along with education and psychological support, appear to reduce morbidity in advanced CHF patients and may have contributed to the lower than expected mortality/hospitalization rate.

[1] CHF = chronic heart failure

April 2007
A. Eisen, A. Tenenbaum, N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne, J. Shemesh, A. Golan, E. Z. Fisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal and Y. Adler

Background: Coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults, and cerebrovascular disease is associated with the presence of symptomatic and asymptomatic CHD[1]. Several studies noted an association between coronary calcification and thoracic aorta calcification by several imaging techniques, but this association has not yet been examined in stable angina pectoris patients with the use of spiral computed tomography.

Objectives: To examine by spiral CT the association between the presence and severity of CC[2] and thoracic aorta calcification in patients with stable angina pectoris.

Methods: The patients were enrolled in ACTION (A Coronary Disease Trial Investigating Outcome with Nifedipine GITS) in Israel. The 432 patients (371 men and 61 women aged 40–89 years) underwent chest CT and were evaluated for CC and aortic calcification.

Results: CC was documented in 90% of the patients (n=392) and aortic calcification in 70% (n=303). A significant association (P < 0.05) was found between severity of CC and severity of aortic calcification (as measured by area, volume and slices of calcification). We also found an association between the number of coronary vessels calcified and the presence of aortic calcification: 90% of patients with triple-vessel disease (n=157) were also positive for aortic calcification (P < 0.05). Age also had an effect: 87% of patients ≥ 65 years (n=219) were positive for both coronary and aortic calcification (P = 0.005) while only 57% ≤ 65 (n=209) were positive for both (P = 0.081).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a strong association between the presence and severity of CC and the presence and severity of calcification of thoracic aorta in patients with stable angina pectoris as detected by spiral CT.


[1] CHD = coronary heart disease

[2] CC = coronary calcification

May 2002
Michael Eckstein, MSc, Iris Vered, MD, Sophia Ish-Shalom, MD, Anat Ben Shlomo, MD, Avraham Shtriker, MD, Nira Koren-Morag, PhD and Eitan Friedman, MD, PhD

Background: Genetic factors have been shown to play a major role in the development of peak bone mass, with hereditability accounting for about 50-85% of the variance in bone mass. Numerous candidate genes were proposed to be involved in osteoporosis, but the precise genes and their relative contribution remain unknown.

Objectives: To gain insight into the genetic basis of idiopathic low bone mineral density in Israeli patients by analyzing the impact of two candidate genes: polymorphism of the vitamin D receptor gene and polymorphism A986s in the calcium-sensing receptor gene.

Methods: We analyzed 86 Jewish Israeli patients with LBMD[1]: 38 premenopausal women and 48 men, and compared the allelic pattern distribution with that of the general population (126 men and 112 women). Genotyping of the VDR[2] gene was performed in three polymorphic sites using restriction enzymes, and allelic analysis of A986s polymorphism in the CaSR[3] gene was performed using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis technique.  

Reaults: In LBMD women the distributions of VDR alleres in Apal polymorphism were AA=7/28, Aa=16/28 and aa=5/28; in TaqI polymorphism TT=10/31, Tt=16/31 and tt=5/31; and in BsmI polymorphism BB=7/32, Bb=14/32 and 11/32. In LBMD men the distributions were AA=17/39, Aa=21/39 and aa=1/39; in TaqI polymorphism TT=12/42, Tt=23/42 and tt=7/42; and in BsmI polymorphism BB=12/41 Bb=18/41 and bb=11/41. The distributions of all these polymorphisms in the control groups were not significantly different. Adjusting for the independent age and gender parameters confirmed that these three polymorphisms of the VDR gene did not have a significant effect on bone mineral density. Thirty percent (24/79) of LBMD patients of either sex displayed heterozygosity of the CaSR A986s polymorphism, compared with 40 of 203 controls (19.7%) (P=0.059). Adjusting for age and gender in these patients revealed a significant difference in the femoral neck BMD[4] between homozygotes and heterozygotes (P=0.002). The age at menarche of the LBMD women was found to predict 61% of the variance of femoral neck BMD.

Conclusions: In Israeli Jewish men and premenopausal women VDR gene alleles do not seem to be associated with lower lumbar spine or femoral neck BMD. A trend towards heterozygosity for a CaSR polymorphism missense mutation was noted in the LBMD patients. Age at menarche in the LBMD women was found to be an important predictor of BMD. A significant difference was found between LBMD women and healthy control women towards heterozygosity for a CaSR polymorphism, as well between homozygotes and heterozygotes for a CaSR polymorphism in BMD. The significance of these findings and their applicability to a larger population awaits further studies.


[1] LBMD = low bone mineral density

[2] VDR = vitamin D receptor

[3] CaSR = calcium-sensing receptor

[4] BMD = bone mineral density

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