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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.07.24

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July 2015
Nili Greenberg MSc, Rafael Carel MD and Boris A. Portnov PhD DSc

Studies of the respiratory effects of air pollution in Israel published in peer-reviewed journals have been infrequent. Most empiric evidence relates to the association between air pollution and childhood asthma; other air pollution effects on other illnesses are less thoroughly studied. Our evaluation provides a possible explanation for the quite contradictory results demonstrated in the various studies. Actual effect estimates appear to differ considerably, ranging from no air pollution effect to a reasonably strong association detected between PM10 and asthma. We attribute these discrepancies to different research methodologies and different types of data used in various studies.

July 2013
N.M. Idilbi, M. Barchana, U. Milman and R.S. Carel
 Background: A worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is in progress. This disease carries a heavy socioeconomic burden.

Objectives: To compare the incidence rate of overall and site-specific cancers among Israeli Arabs with T2DM to that of Israeli Arabs without.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of all adult Arab members of Clalit Healthcare Services in northern Israel was conducted over a 10 year period (1999–2008).

Results: During the study period 752 and 2045 incident cases of cancer were diagnosed among 13,450 adults with diabetes and 74,484 without, respectively. The follow-up time involved 817,506 person-years. Diabetes was associated with a standard incidence ratio (SIR) of 3.27 (95%CI 1.49–5.05) and 2.87 (95%CI 1.25–4.50) for pancreatic cancer in men and women, respectively. A significantly reduced SIR (0.67, 95%CI 0.36–0.99) was observed for esophageal, stomach and intestinal cancers in men.

Conclusions: Our findings support an association between T2DM and increased risk of cancer of the pancreas in Arab men and women. A significantly reduced risk of all other cancers was observed only in Arab men. Our findings underscore the need for effective diabetes and cancer prevention and intervention programs. 

June 2013
E.D. Amster, S.S. Fertig, U. Baharal, S. Linn, M.S. Green, Z. Lencovsky and R.S. Carel
 Background: From 2 to 5 December 2010, Israel experienced the most severe forest fire in its history, resulting in the deaths of 44 rescue workers. Little research exists on the health risks to emergency responders during forest fires, and there is no published research to date on occupational health among firefighters in Israel.

Objectives: To describe the exposures experienced by emergency responders to smoke, fire retardants and stress; the utilization of protective equipment; and the frequency of corresponding symptoms during and following the Carmel Forest fire.

Methods: A cohort of 204 firefighters and 68 police who took part in rescue and fire-abating activities during the Carmel Forest fire were recruited from a representative sample of participating stations throughout the country and interviewed regarding their activities during the fire and their coinciding symptoms. Unpaired two-sample t-test compared mean exposures and symptom frequency for firefighters and police. Chi-square estimates of OR and 95% CI are provided for odds of reporting symptoms, incurring injury or being hospitalized for various risk factors.

Results: Of the study participants, 87% reported having at least one symptom during rescue work at the Carmel Forest fire, with eye irritation (77%) and fatigue (71%) being the most common. Occupational stress was extremely high during the fire; the average length of time working without rest was 18.4 hours among firefighters.

Conclusions: Firefighters and police were exposed to smoke and occupational stress for prolonged periods during the fire. Further research is needed on the residual health effects from exposure to forest fires among emergency responders, and to identify areas for improvement in health preparedness.  

August 2001
Yaron Yagev, MD, Rafael S. Carel, MD and Ronit Yagav, MD

Background: The association of carpal tunnel syndrome with occupational risk factors is well established. However, in clinical practice these factors are only rarely considered and evaluated. Managing these risk factors could prevent the occurrence of future cases and alleviate treatment of the afflicted individuals.

Objectives: To estimate the role of occupational risk factors in a large group of patients diagnosed by electro­physiological studies as suffering from CTS.

Methods: A group of 396 subjects (204 women, 165 men) who were tested in one laboratory by electrophysiological studies were further evaluated (by questionnaire) to determine the possible role of occupational and other risk factors in the etiology of their syndrome.

Results: Persons employed in high force — low repetitive or low force — high repetitive jobs, harbor an extra risk for developing CTS as compared with controls, OR=3.21 (95% C1 = 1.5-6.9) and OR=4.72 (95%C1 = 1.8-12.5), respectively. These jobs include typists/secretaries, nursing personnel, production workers and housewives.

Conclusion: Evaluation of a general group of examinees referred for electrophysiological studies on sympatology compatible with CTS may show that occupational risk factors play a substantial role in the development of symptoms. By increasing the awareness of clinicians and the public to these risk factors, appropriate preventive measures can be intro­duced and the burden of the disease reduced.

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