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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.07.24

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November 2008
R. Loebstein et al

Background: Infections with blood-borne viruses are a major health problem among illicit drug users. There is little information about infection rates and risk factors for hepatitis virus B, C or the human immunodeficiency virus in drug users in Israel.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HCV[1], HBV[2] and HIV[3] infections in a large cohort of drug users in Israel; to compare rates of HCV, HBV and HIV between injecting versus non-injecting drug users and between different origin countries; and to identify risk factors for HCV among illicit drug users.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional interviewer-administered questionnaire and serological screening for HCV, HBV and HIV in 1443 consecutive drug users diagnosed at the Israeli National Center for Diagnosis of Drug Addicts between January 2003 and December 2005.

Results: Fourteen (0.9%), 51 (3.5%) and 515 (35.7%) subjects tested positive for HIV, HBV and HCV, respectively. All three infections (HIV, HBV and HCV) were significantly more common among injecting drug users and immigrants from the former Soviet Union and other East European countries compared to native Israelis. Multivariate analysis showed that HCV infection was associated with age (> 40 years) (OR=2.06, 95% CI 1.40–3.03), immigration from East European countries and the former Soviet Union (OR=4.54, 95% CI 3.28–6.28), and injecting drug use (OR=16.44, 95% CI 10.79–25.05).

Conclusions: HIV, HBV and HCV prevalence among drug users in Israel is significantly lower than in North America and West Europe. Risk factors for HCV infection in this population include injecting drug use, older age, and immigration from the former Soviet Union.

[1] HCV = hepatitis C virus

[2] HBV = hepatitis B virus

[3] HIV = human immunodeficiency virus

October 2002
Eytan Cohen, MD, Shlomo Almog, PhD, Daniel Staruvin, MD and Moshe Garty, MD, MSc

Background: Acarbose has become an important adjuvant therapy for diabetic patients. Many of these patients are also treated with digoxin for congestive heart failure or chronic atrial fibrillation

Objective: To evaluate a possible drug interaction between acarbose and digoxin.

Methods: An open-label, analyst-blind, randomized, crossover, two-period study was conducted in 11 healthy subjects. In period I, each subject received one single oral dose of 0.75 mg digoxin. In period ll, they were given acarbose tablets., 60 mg-3 times a day for 12 days. On day 8, one hour after acarbose administration, a single oral dose of 0.75 mg digoxin was administered. The study periods were separated by a 3 week washout interval: Serum. digoxin levels., over. time, in the two periods were compared by standard techniques;

Results: There were no differences in the pharmacokinetic parameters of digoxin in the two periods, apart from a significant increase in the mean maximum serum concentration (Cmax) when digoxin was given with acarbose (5.97 compared to 4.67 g/L, P = 0.02). Simulated steady-state peak levels of digoxin (Cmax,ss) achieved with a daily dose of 0.25 mg digoxin, in the presence.and absence of acarbose, were 2.89 and 2.40 g/L respectively (P =0.05); Simulated steady-state trough (Cmin,ss) and average (Cave,ss) concentrations were similar and within the therapeutic window.

Conclusion: There was no significant pharmacokinetic interaction between digoxin and acarbose at current therapeutic doses in the healthy volunteers. This interaction should be further studied with higher doses of acarbose and at steady-state conditions.

December 1999
Yona Amitai MD, Daniel Katz MD, Matityahu Lifshitz MD, Rosa Gofin MD, Maya Tepferberg MSc and Shlomo Almog PhD, published in IMAJ.

Background: Prenatal lead exposure (umbilical cord blood lead concentration 10 (μg/dl) may impair cognitive development. Childhood lead poisoning is infrequent in Israel, and there are no data on lead exposure in immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union.

Objectives: To evaluate prenatal blood lead concentrations in Israeli newborns whose mothers were born in Israel and in those whose mothers recently immigrated from Russia, and to compare data of prenatal lead exposure in Israel with those reported from other countries.

Methods: We compared the UCBLC of 35 newborns of new immigrants from Russia with a group of 35 newborns whose mothers were born in Israel. Venous BLC was also measured in 50 mothers. Data are compared with similar reports on prenatal lead exposure internationally.

Results: The UCBLC in all 70 newborns (mean±SD) was 3.53±1.6 μg/dl, and mothers' BLC (mean±SD) was 3.90±1.39 μg/dl. UCBLC and BLC in the 50 mother-newborn pairs correlated (γ=0.36, P<0.01). All newborns except one had UCBLC<8.0 μg/dl. There was no significant difference between UCBLC in the two groups.

Conclusions: Prenatal lead exposure among the study subjects in both groups was low. In this sample the newborns of mothers born in Israel and those whose mothers recently immigrated from Russia were not found to be at risk for lead poisoning. Prenatal lead exposure in this sample was low compared to that reported from various parts of the world.

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