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עמוד בית
Thu, 22.02.24

Search results

August 2023
Netta Shoenfeld BA, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, David R. Serfaty MD, Revital Mann MD, Bat-Sheva Porat Katz MD, Rael D. Strous MD MHA

Background: While several studies have noted smell impairment in schizophrenia, it is unclear whether this impairment extends to acute psychosis and whether it is associated with more severe illness as expressed in extended hospitalization.

Objectives: To evaluate the olfactory function of patients in an acute psychotic state and correlate it with clinical symptomatology and length of hospitalization.

Methods: Olfactory function was assessed in 20 patients with schizophrenia in their first week of hospital admission for acute psychosis compared with matched controls. Olfaction was evaluated via three stages: threshold, discrimination, and identification of different odors utilizing the Sniffin' Sticks test battery.

Results: Schizophrenia patients scored significantly lower on total smell score, discrimination, and identification abilities. A significant association was observed between hospitalization duration and total smell score and smell discrimination. No significant associations between smell and clinical symptomatology were observed.

Conclusions: Study observations confirm impaired sense of smell in schizophrenia patients and suggest that smell impairment may be a potential marker of more serious illness as expressed in longer hospital stay.

June 2022
Ruti Berger PhD and Yossi Weiss PhD MPH

Background: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a form of international private business self-regulation that aims to contribute to society from a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature by engaging in or supporting volunteering or ethically oriented practices. The major benefit of ESG is having the organization’s workers recruited for the goal of making the world a better place. There is a growing understanding regarding the extent of the environmental impacts of health services. Therefore, the interest in measuring and reporting the sustainability of health system performance is becoming crucial. As population aging and growth in healthcare demand are two of the main challenges of the current and mainly future health services, performance, and quality measurement as well as sustainability metrices are relevant more than ever.

Objectives: To review the ESG activities at Assuta Medical Centers (AMC) that helped the organization earn the Maala Index Platinum + grade in 2021.

Methods: We reviewed the ESG elements that were implemented at AMC.

Results: AMC entered an ESG process in November 2019 and earned Platinum and Platinum+ grades from the Maala Index in 2020 and 2021, respectively. AMC won the Workforce Diversity prize for having many employees over 60 years of age. AMC activities are detailed as a case study for other health organizations in Israel and worldwide.

Conclusions: A big leading health organization can spearhead sustainable development goals model in Israel and worldwide.

July 2020
Gilad Karavani MD, Adi Reuveni Salzman MD, Eliana Ein-Mor PhD, Uri Pinchas Dior MD and Shay Porat MD PhD

Background: While the ratio of male to female births (sex-ratio at birth [SRB]) in humans is remarkably stable on the population level, there are many families with multiple same-sex offspring.

Objectives: To identify a putative sub-population with skewed SRB and explore potential factors affecting the SRB.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study including 66,054 families with up to nine same-sex offspring evaluated between 2003 and 2015 at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center. Outcome measures were observed prevalence and SRB of families with up to nine same-sex offspring in a single family. Analyses included the effect of parity, month and year of delivery, inter-delivery interval, and presence of a sequence of previous same-sex offspring on the SRB.

Results: The study comprised 193,411 live-born babies with SRB of 1.057 in favor of males. The proportion of SRB in families with up to nine same-sex offspring did not differ from the calculated presumed proportion. Furthermore, none of the tested factors (parity, month and year of delivery, inter-delivery interval, and the sequence of previous same-sex offspring) were significantly associated with SRB.

Conclusions: SRB was not associated with any of the tested demographic characteristics. We could not identify a skew in SRB even in families with up to nine consecutive same sex offspring. This finding suggests that in the majority of the population the chance of a male or female fetus in each pregnancy remains similar in every pregnancy, regardless of any of the tested variables.

December 2019
Amihai Rottenstreich MD, Nili Yanai MD, Simcha Yagel MD and Shay Porat MD PhD

Background: Sonographic estimation of birth weight may differ among evaluators due to its operator-dependent nature.

Objectives: To compare the accuracy of estimation of fetal birth weight by sonography between ultrasound-certified physicians and registered diagnostic medical technicians.

Methods: The authors reviewed ultrasound examinations that had been performed by either technicians or ultrasound-certified obstetricians between 2010 and 2017, and within 2 days of delivery. Inclusion criteria were: singleton viable pregnancy, details of four ultrasound measurements (abdominal circumference, bi-parietal diameter, head circumference, and femur length), and known birth weight. The estimated fetal weight (EFW) was calculated according to the Hadlock formula, incorporating the four ultrasound measurements. The mean percentage error (MPE) was calculated by the formula: (EFW-birth weight) x100 / birth weight.

Results: Technicians performed 9741examinations and physicians performed 352 examinations. The proportion of macrosomic neonates was similar in both groups. Technicians were more accurate than physicians in terms of the MPE, absolute MPE, proportion of estimates that fell within ± 10% of birth weight, and Euclidean distance (P < 0.0001 for all comparisons). They were also more accurate in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and area under the receiver operating curve. Furthermore, for fetuses weighing more than 4000 grams the technicians had a lower total false prediction rate.

Conclusions: Medical technicians in our institute performed better than physicians in estimating fetal weight. Further studies are warranted to confirm our findings and better delineate the role of repeat physician’s examination after an initial estimation by an experienced technician.

July 2019
Adi Porat Rein MD, Uri Kramer MD and Alexis Mitelpunkt MD

Background: Benign rolandic epilepsy or benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS) is a common childhood epileptic syndrome. The syndrome resolves in adolescence, but 1–7% of patients have an atypical presentation, some of which require aggressive medical treatment. Early treatment may prevent complications and neurocognitive deterioration. Variants include Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) and electrical status epilepticus during sleep (ESES).

Objectives: To determine data driven identification of risk factors and characterization of new subtypes of BCECTS based on anontology. To use data mining analysis and correlation between the identified groups and known clinical variants.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study comprised of 104 patients with a diagnosis of BCECTS and a minimum of 2 years of follow-up, between the years 2005 and 2017. The medical records were obtained from the epilepsy service unit of the pediatric neurology department at Dana–Dwek Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. We developed a BCECTS ontology and performed data preprocessing and analysis using the R Project for Statistical Computing (https://www.r-project.org/) and machine learning tools to identify risk factors and characterize subgroups.

Results: The ontology created a uniform and understandable infrastructure for research. With the ontology, a more precise characterization of clinical symptoms and EEG activity of BCECTS was possible. Risk factors for the development of severe atypical presentations were identified: electroencephalography (EEG) with spike wave (P < 0.05), EEG without evidence of left lateralization (P < 0.05), and EEG localization (centrotemporal, frontal, or frontotemporal) (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Future use of the ontology infrastructure for expanding characterization for multicenter studies as well as future studies of the disease are needed. Identifying subgroups and adapting them to known clinical variants will enable identification of risk factors, improve prediction of disease progression, and facilitate adaptation of more accurate therapy. Early identification and frequent follow-up may have a significant impact on the prognosis of the atypical variants.

April 2019
Lazaros I. Sakkas MD PhD, Dimitrios P. Bogdanos MD PhD, Dimitrios Boumpas MD, Zisis Mamouris PhD, Athanasios Gkoutzourelas MD, Athanasios Mavropoulos PhD, Zisis Tsouris PhD, Stamatis-Nickοlaos Liossis MD, Dimitrios Daoussis MD, Dimitrios Vasilopoulos MD, Maria Tektonidou MD, Athanasios Tzioufas MD, George Efthymiou BSc, Efthymios Dardiotis MD, George Kitas MD PhD, Κassem Sharif MD, Miri Blank MD, Dimitrios Karussis MD, Doron Rimar MD, Gleb Slobodin MD, Bat-Sheva Porat-Katz MD, Zahava Vadasz MD PhD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Elias Toubi MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
November 2018
Bat-Sheva Porat-Katz MD, Teresa W. Johnson DCN, Itai Katz B Med Sc, and Shelly Rachman-Elbaum PhD

Background: Previously described as a subcategory of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), hoarding disorder was added to the fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) as a stand-alone diagnosis for the first time. The first formal research in the 1990s surprisingly found no connection between material deprivation early in life and hoarding; however, later studies linked early traumatic life experiences with hoarding. Subsequent familial studies demonstrated a genetic predisposition for hoarding. Emerging evidence suggests a link between a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors.

Objectives: To evaluate the literature on PTSD among Jewish Holocaust survivors for associations between PTSD and hoarding.

Methods: A systematic search of selected databases, including PubMed, Google Scholar, NCBI, Psych Info, and EBSCO Host was conducted from 1 March 2017 to 15 July 2018 using the following search terms: hoarding, hoarding disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, compulsive hoarding, Jewish Holocaust survivors, Shoa, post-traumatic stress disorder, and PTSD. Inclusion criteria included peer reviewed research published on adults in English since 1990. Because no publications linking hoarding and PTSD in Jewish Holocaust survivors were found, references in retained papers were also searched for any relevant published work.

Results: Seven articles linking PTSD and hoarding were identified for this review. However, no articles were found linking PTSD and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors.

Conclusions: A relationship between PTSD and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors is conceivable and should be explored to effectively diagnose and care for affected individuals.

August 2018
Avi Porath MD MPH, Jonathan Eli Arbelle MD MHA, Naama Fund, Asaf Cohen and Morris Mosseri MD FESC

Background: The salutary effects of statin therapy in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well established. Although generally considered safe, statin therapy has been reported to contribute to induction of diabetes mellitus (DM).

Objectives: To assess the risk-benefit of statin therapy, prescribed for the prevention of CVD, in the development of DM.

Methods: In a population-based real-life study, the incidence of DM and CVD were assessed retrospectively among 265,414 subjects aged 40–70 years, 17.9% of whom were treated with statins. Outcomes were evaluated according to retrospectively determined baseline 10 year cardiovascular (CV) mortality risks as defined by the European Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation, statin dose-intensity regimen, and level of drug adherence.

Results: From 2010 to 2014, 5157 (1.9%) new cases of CVD and 11,637 (4.4%) of DM were observed. Low-intensity statin therapy with over 50% adherence was associated with increased DM incidence in patients at low or intermediate baseline CV risk, but not in patients at high CV risk. In patients at low CV risk, no CV protective benefit was obtained. The number needed to harm (NNH; incident DM) for low-intensity dose regimens with above 50% adherence was 40. In patients at intermediate and high CV risk, the number needed to treat was 125 and 29; NNH was 50 and 200, respectively.

Conclusions: Prescribing low-dose statins for primary prevention of CVD is beneficial in patients at high risk and may be detrimental in patients at low CV risk. In patients with intermediate CV risk, our data support current recommendations of individualizing treatment decisions.

June 2017
Shelly Rachman-Elbaum MSc, Aliza H. Stark PhD, Josefa Kachal MPH, Teresa W. Johnson DCN and Bat Sheva Porat-Katz MD

Background: Standardization of the dietetic care process allows for early identification of malnutrition and metabolic disorders, interdisciplinary collaboration among the medical team, and improved quality of patient care. Globally, dietitians are adopting a nutrition care model that integrates national regulations with professional scope of practice. Currently, Israel lacks a standardized dietetic care process and documentation terminology.

Objectives: To assess the utilization of a novel sectoral documentation system for nutrition care in Israel.

Methods: Seventy dietitians working in 63 geriatric facilities completed an online training program presenting the proposed patient-sectoral-model. Training was followed by submission of sample case studies from clinical practice or completion of a case simulation. Application of the proposed model was assessed by measuring the frequency participants implemented different sections of the model and responses to an approval questionnaire.

Results: Fifty-four participants (77%) provided completed cases. Over 80% of participants reported each step of the proposed dietary care process with 100% reporting the “nutrition diagnosis”. Fifty-one dietitians (72.8%) completed the approval survey with the section on nutrition diagnosis receiving a highly favorable response (95%), indicating that the new documentation system was beneficial. Over 80% of participants rated the model useful in clinical practice.

Conclusions: A sectoral approach for documenting dietetic care may be the ideal model for dietitians working in specific patient populations with the potential for improving interdisciplinary collaboration in patient care.

February 2017
Itay Katz, Daphna Katz, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP and Bat Sheva Porat-Katz MD
August 2015
Jeffrey Shames MD MPH, Shimon Weitzman MD MPH, Yael Nechemya MD and Avi Porath MD MPH

Background: Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The risk factors for stroke overlap those for cardiovascular disease. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a particularly strong risk factor and is common, particularly in the elderly. Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS) has maintained a vascular registry of clinical information for over 100,000 members, among them patients with heart disease and stroke. 

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of stroke in MHS, and whether the association of AF and stroke, along with other risk factors, in the Maccabi population is similar to that in published studies.

Methods: Data on stroke and AF patients aged 45 and older were collected from the database for the year 2010, including age, previous transient ischemic attack (TIA), body mass index (BMI), prior myocardial infarction (MI), diabetes, hypertension, anticoagulation and dyslipidemia. A cross-sectional analysis was used to estimate stroke prevalence by AF status. A case-control analysis was also performed comparing a sample of stroke and non-stroke patients. This permitted estimation of the strength of associations for atrial fibrillation and various other combinations of risk factors with stroke. 

Results: Stroke prevalence ranged from 3.5 (females, age 45–54 years) to 74.1 (males, age 85+) per thousand in non-AF members, and from 29 (males, age 45–54) to 165 (males, age 85+) per thousand for patients with AF. AF patients had significantly more strokes than non-AF patients in all age groups. Stroke prevalence increased with age and was significantly higher in males. Multivariable analysis revealed that male gender, increasing age, AF, hypertension, diabetes, and history of TIA were highly significant risk factors for stroke. In addition, for males, dyslipidemia and prior MI were moderately strong risk factors. 

Conclusions: Analysis of the MHS vascular database yielded useful information on stroke prevalence and association of known risk factors with stroke, which is consistent with the epidemiological literature elsewhere. Further analysis of health fund data could potentially provide useful information in the future. 


December 2011
N. Gluck, M. Fried and R. Porat

Background: Hepatotoxicity due to intravenous amiodarone (HIVAD) is a rare side effect with a distinct pattern of enzyme disturbances compared to liver damage from oral amiodarone. Intravenous amiodarone is administered for acute arrhythmias often causing heart failure. The enzyme abnormalities and clinical setting are very similar to that of ischemic hepatitis, a far more common condition.

Objectives:  To ascertain if acute HIVAD exists as a separate entity or whether reported cases may be explained by ischemic hepatitis.

Methods: In this case-control retrospective study the files of hospitalized patients with markedly elevated aminotransferases were reviewed for the diagnoses of HIVAD or ischemic hepatitis. Medline was searched for published cases of HIVAD. Pooled data of all patients with HIVAD were compared to a control group with ischemic hepatitis.

Results: There were no significant differences in the clinical characteristics, laboratory results or histological findings between HIVAD and ischemic hepatitis patients.

Conclusions: In our opinion, there is currently insufficient data to support the existence of distinct HIVAD, and ischemic hepatitis is a more probable diagnosis in most reported cases. Withdrawing amiodarone because of assumed hepatic damage could deprive patients of a life-saving therapy.

September 2011
A.D. Heymann, R. Gross, H. Tabenkin, B. Porter and A. Porath

Background: A crucial part of controlling blood pressure is non-pharmaceutical treatment. However, only a few studies specifically address the question of hypertensive patients’ compliance with physicians’ recommendations for a healthy lifestyle.

Objectives: To explore factors associated with hypertensive patients’ compliance with lifestyle recommendations regarding physical activity, smoking cessation and proper diet.

Methods: We performed a secondary data analysis of a representative sample of 1125 hypertensive patients in Israel's two largest health funds. Data were collected in 20022003 by telephone interviews using structured questionnaires. The response rate was 77%. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was conducted.

Results: About half of the hypertensive patients reported doing regular exercise and adhering to a special diet; 13% were smokers. About half reported receiving counseling on smoking cessation and diet and a third on physical exercise. A quarter reported receiving explanations regarding self-measurement of blood pressure and signs of deterioration. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients’ beliefs about hypertension management, their knowledge on hypertension and its management, and physician counseling on a healthy lifestyle and self-care, have an independent effect on compliance with recommended lifestyle behaviors.

Conclusions: The low counseling rates suggest that there may be a need to improve physicians’ counseling skills so that they will be more confident and effective in delivering this service to their patients. A model based on educating both physicians and patients may contribute to improving the care of hypertensive patients.

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