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עמוד בית
Sun, 21.04.24

Search results

April 2022
Mohammad Khatib PhD MPH, Ahmad Sheikh Muhammad MPH, Salam Hadid PhD, Izhar Ben Shlomo MD, and Malik Yousef PhD

Background: Hookah smoking is a common activity around the world and has recently become a trend among youth. Studies have indicated a relationship between hookah smoking and a high prevalence of chronic diseases, cancer, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases. In Israel, there has been a sharp increase in hookah smoking among the Arabs. Most studies have focused mainly on hookah smoking among young people.

Objectives: To examine the association between hookah smoking and socioeconomic characteristics, health status and behaviors, and knowledge in the adult Arab population and to build a prediction model using machine learning methods.

Methods: This quantitative study based is on data from the Health and Environment Survey conducted by the Galilee Society in 2015–2016. The data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 2046 adults aged 18 years and older.

Results: Using machine learning, a prediction model was built based on eight features. Of the total study population, 13.0% smoked hookah. In the 18–34 age group, 19.5% smoked. Men, people with lower level of health knowledge, heavy consumers of energy drinks and alcohol, and unemployed people were more likely to smoke hookah. Younger and more educated people were more likely to smoke hookah.

Conclusions: Hookah smoking is a widespread behavior among adult Arabs in Israel. The model generated by our study is intended to help health organizations reach people at risk for smoking hookah and to suggest different approaches to eliminate this phenomenon.

December 2020
Rottem Kuint MD, Polina Cohen Goichman MD, Ahuva Mizrachi MD, Raphael Breuer MD, Avraham Abutbul MD, Neville Berkman MBBCh FRCP, and Zvi Gregorio Fridlender MD

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) is a common and debilitating condition, often accompanied by other co-morbidities. The Hadassah Medical Center’smulti-disciplinary approach in treating COPD patients in a one-stop shopfor COPD patients is the first of its kind in Israel. It includes pulmonary physicians, a nurse coordinator, dietitian, psychotherapist, physiotherapist, and a smoking cessation program.

Objectives: To characterize efficacy of such a program in COPD patients

Methods: Demographic and clinical data from patients referred to the Hadassah COPD center, including co-morbidities, baseline symptoms (using the CAT questioner), spirometry results, 6-minute walking distance (6MWD) test and current treatment were collected and compared to the same data after 6–12 months of treatment.

Results: Some 154 patients were evaluated; mean age 64 years; 67% male; 53% current smokers. Only 74% received chronic treatment for COPD. Average body mass index was 28, CAT score 21.3, and mean FEV1 was 1.38 liters (53% of predicted).The mean exacerbation rate during the year prior to referral was 1.72 with a 1.07 annual admission rate. Following treatment, a small increase was noted in FEV1 to 1.47 liters, 54.4% of predicted; improvement in CAT scores to 16.5 with improvement seen in 70% of patients, and a 42 meter increase in the 6MWD (from 344 to 386 meters) with some improvement of effort capacity in 77% of patients. The rate of smokers decreased to 21%, and 97% of patients received medical treatment for COPD.

Conclusions: Multidisciplinary approach is feasible and efficacious in patients with COPD.

April 2020
Eliyakim Hershkop BA and Bishara Bisharat MD MPH
January 2019
Sagee Tal MD, Yochai Adir MD, Nili Stein MPH, Hadar Shalom MSc, Orit Lache MSc, Andrew Levy MD, PhD and Michal Shteinberg MD

Background: Frequent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbators are at a higher risk of adverse health outcomes when compared to infrequent exacerbators. A COPD frequent exacerbator phenotype and its definition has been reported. Haptoglobin (Hp) polymorphism has been associated with differing clinical outcomes in cardiovascular and renal disease. The Hp 2-2 phenotype has been found to have bacteriostatic properties, while the Hp 1-1 phenotype was found to be associated with infections.

Objectives: To determine the correlation in haptoglobin phenotypes and the frequent exacerbator status compared to COPD non-exacerbators.

Methods: Inclusion criteria included previous diagnosis of COPD and presence of at least two documented exacerbations of COPD in the previous 12 months (frequent exacerbator group) or absence of such exacerbations in the previous 24 months (non-exacerbator group). Descriptive data was analyzed using Fisher's exact test and the nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis test. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed.

Results: The multivariate logistic regression yielded a model in which haptoglobin phenotype did not have a statistically significant association with frequent exacerbator status. Smoking status was found to be negatively related with the frequent exacerbator status (odds ratio [OR] 0.240, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 0.068–0.843, P = 0.03). Number of pack-years was negatively related to being a frequent exacerbator (OR 0.979, 95%CI 0.962–0.996, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: We found no relationship between haptoglobin polymorphism and frequent exacerbator status. However, frequent exacerbator status had a statistically significant association with COPD Assessment Test scores and pack-years and a negative correlation with current smoking status.

January 2017
Gabriel Munter MD, Yehuda Brivik MD, Yossi Freier-Dror MA and Shoshana Zevin MD

Background: Cigarette smoking is a widespread problem around the world. In Israel, the prevalence of smoking is 23%. Smokers who are Orthodox abstain from smoking during the Sabbath, i.e., from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, due to a religious prohibition. The prevalence of smoking among Orthodox men is 13%. However, there are no data on patterns of smoking or on the addiction profiles in this population.

Objectives: To explore the smoking patterns, motivation for smoking and nicotine addiction among Orthodox Jewish men, compared to non-Orthodox men, as well as the differences in the urge to smoke and withdrawal symptoms on Saturday versus weekdays in the Orthodox group. 

Methods: The participants completed the Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence, questionnaires on reasons for smoking and smoking patterns, as well as two brief questionnaires on the urge to smoke and withdrawal symptoms after overnight abstinence on a weekday and after the end of the Sabbath. 

Results: Both groups were strongly addicted to nicotine and there were no differences in the reasons for smoking, withdrawal symptoms and nicotine craving after an overnight abstinence on weekdays. However, religious smokers had low levels of craving for nicotine and few withdrawal symptoms during Sabbath abstinence when compared to weekdays. 

Conclusions: Although we found no difference in the baseline characteristics with regard to nicotine addiction, smoking motivation, urge to smoke and withdrawal symptoms between religious and non-religious groups, the former are able to abstain from smoking during 25 hours of the Sabbath every week with significantly fewer withdrawal symptoms compared to week days.


September 2016
Yoav Hammer MD, Eytan Cohen MD, Amos Levi MD and Ilan Krause MD

Background: Both cigarette smoking and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are linked to cardiovascular morbidity and development of atherosclerosis. However, the relationship between cigarette smoking and renal function is not clearly understood. 

Objectives: To investigate the relationship between cigarette smoking and renal function, and determine whether the intensity of cigarette smoking influences renal function.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of subjects attending the screening center at the Rabin Medical Center. Subjects were classified as smokers, non-smokers and past smokers. Renal function was evaluated by means of the CKD-EPI equation for estimating glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Multivariate and gender-based analyses were performed.

Results: The study population comprised 24,081 participants, of whom 3958 (17%) were classified current smokers, and 20,123 non-smokers of whom 4523 were classified as past smokers. Current smokers presented a higher eGFR compared to the non-smoking group (100.8 vs. 98.7, P < 0.001) as well as higher rates of proteinuria (15.3% vs. 9.3%, P < 0.001). The difference in eGFR between smokers and non-smokers was more significant in males than in females. Past smokers had the lowest eGFR of all groups, this difference remained significant after age adjustments (P = 0.005). 

Conclusions: Cigarette smoking is associated with higher eGFR compared to non-smoking. This difference was more pronounced in males than females, implying a gender-based difference. The higher prevalence of proteinuria in smokers suggests a mechanism of hyperfiltration, which might result in future progressive renal damage.


June 2015
Orna Baron-Epel PHD, Waleed Shalata PHD and Melbourne F. Hovell PHD


Background: Waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) is common in some populations and may add increased risk for tobaccorelated diseases.

Objectives: To assess the rates of WTS and risk practices associated with WTS in three distinct populations in Israel: long-term Jewish residents (LTJR), immigrants from the former Soviet Union (fSU), and Arabs.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 899 randomly selected participants, age 30–65 years, using face-toface interviews with subjects from the three population groups in Israel. Respondents reported WTS, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and socioeconomic characteristics.

Results: Among men, WTS at least once a week was reported by 4.8% of LTJR, 3.2% of fSU immigrants and 20.3% of Arabs. Lower rates were reported among women of all groups. The younger, less educated men and the younger unmarried women had higher odds of WTS. LTJR who smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol had higher odds of WTS [odds ratio (OR) 32.6, confidence interval (CI) 9.36–113.6; OR = 3.57, CI =1.48–8.63, respectively], compared to non-smokers and non-drinkers. fSU immigrants who smoked cigarettes had higher odds of WTS (OR = 3.40, CI = 0.99–11.7) compared to non-smokers. Among Arabs, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption were not associated with WTS.

Conclusions: Arabs are more likely than other Israeli populations to engage in WTS. This behavior may add to increased inequalities in rates of tobacco-induced diseases between Arabs and Jews in Israel. Including WTS in the policies for smoke-free public places is called for.

July 2014
A. Nobre MD, Walber P. Vieira MD, Francisco E.S. da Rocha MD, Jozelio F. de Carvalho MD PhD and Carlos E.M. Rodrigues MD PhD

Smoking is a risk factor for thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO, Buerger’s disease) and arteriosclerosis, but there are few cases of coronary heart disease (CAD)-associated Buerger's disease. A literature search for articles in English, Spanish and French published between 1966 and 2012 on patients with coronary involvement and TAO revealed 12 patients. We describe an additional case with involvement of the central nervous system, myocardium and large-diameter proximal arteries. The main clinical manifestations in these 13 cases were lower limb claudication and acute thoracic pain. The histologic findings showed thrombosis with unbroken internal elastic lamina and intimal clusters of granulocytes; coronary angiography revealed predominant involvement of the left anterior descending and right coronary artery. Treatment included coronary bypass procedures, coronary angioplasty, smoking cessation, and anticoagulant therapy. A complete therapeutic response was observed in half the patients. This review of all published cases of TAO patients with coronary symptoms, together with our patient, demonstrates the rarity of this clinical association. Patients under age 40 with CAD but no prominent cardiovascular risk factors besides smoking should be evaluated for the presence of Buerger's disease.

July 2013
Y. Shkedy, R. Feinmesser and A. Mizrachi
 Background: Smoking is a serious health issue worldwide. Smoking trends among physicians predict similar trends in the general population. Little is known about current smoking rates among physicians.

Objectives: To investigate current smoking trends among Israeli physicians.

Methods: All practicing physicians at a tertiary university-affiliated medical center in central Israel were invited to complete a Web-based questionnaire on smoking habits and smoking-related issues via the institutional email. Findings were compared to those in the general population and between subgroups.

Results: Of the 90 responders (53 male, 88 Jewish), 54 (60%) had never smoked, 21 (23.3%) were past smokers, and 15 (16.7%) were current smokers. The rate of current smokers was lower than in the general population. The proportion of current smokers was higher among residents than attending physicians and among physicians in surgical compared to medical specialties. Past smokers accounted for 17.9% of the residents (average age at quitting 26.2 years) and 28.1% of the attending physicians (average age at quitting 33.0 years). Non-smokers more frequently supported harsh anti-smoking legislation.

Conclusions: The rate of smoking is lower in physicians than in the general population but has not changed over the last 15 years. Anti-smoking programs should particularly target physicians in surgical specialties. 

February 2011
G. Altarescu, D. Rachmilewitz and S. Zevin

Background: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a common and difficult-to-treat disease. In non-smokers the relative risk of developing UC[1] is 2.9 compared with smokers, who tend to have a later onset and a milder disease. Nicotine is the component of cigarette smoke responsible for the favorable effects in UC. Nicotine is metabolized by the enzyme CYP2A6. Subjects who are homozygotes for CYP2A6*4 gene polymorphism are poor nicotine metabolizers, while homozygotes for CYP2A6*1A polymorphism are extensive metabolizers.

Objectives: To compare the frequency of CYP2A6 and CHRNA3 polymorphisms among smokers and non-smokers with UC, and their effect on disease severity.

Methods: Data on the age at onset of disease, disease activity, and treatment were obtained from questionnaires completed by the 69 subjects in our study group. CYP2A6

*1A,*4A and CHRNA3 polymorphisms were determined by polymerase chain reaction and restriction enzyme analysis.

Results: Nine percent of the patients were current smokers, 30% were former smokers and 61% non-smokers. Among smokers and former smokers 63% were homozygotes for CYP2A6*1A and 4% were homozygotes for CYP2A6*4A, whereas among non-smokers 66% were homozygotes for CYP2A6*4A (P < 0.0001). There was no significant effect of CYP2A6 or CHRNA3 genotype on UC activity.

Conclusions: We found a very high proportion of poor nicotine metabolizers among non-smoking patients with UC and a very low proportion among current and former smokers, making it difficult to determine the effect of poor metabolizer genotype on disease activity in smokers with UC. However, it may be possible to identify UC patients who are poor metabolizers of nicotine and who may benefit from nicotine or nicotine-like pharmacological treatment.

[1] UC = ulcerative colitis

December 2010
O. Baron-Epel, L. Keinan-Boker, R. Weinstein and T. Shohat

Background: During the last few decades much effort has been invested into lowering smoking rates due to its heavy burden on the population's health and on costs for the health care services.

Objectives: To compare trends in smoking rates between adult Arab men and Jewish men and women during 2000–2008.

Methods: Six random telephone surveys were conducted by the Israel Center for Disease Control in 2000–2008 to investigate smoking rates. The number of respondents was 24,976 Jews men and women and 2564 Arab men. The percent of respondents reporting being current smokers was calculated for each population group (Jews and Arabs) by age, gender and education, and were studied in relation to time.

Results: Among Jewish men aged 21–64 smoking declined during 2000–2008 by about 3.5%. In the 21–44 age group this decline occurred only among respondents with an academic education. Among Jewish women this decline also occurred at ages 21–64, and in the 45–64 age group this decline was due only to a decline in smoking among those with an academic education. Among Arab men aged 21–64 an increase in smoking rates of about 6.5% was observed among both educated and less educated respondents.

Conclusions: Smoking prevalence is declining in Israel among Jews, but not among Arab men. The larger decrease in smoking rates among academics will, in the future, add to the inequalities in health between the lower and higher socioeconomic status groups and between Arabs and Jews. This calls for tailored interventions among the less educated Jews and all Arab men.

January 2008
Y. Shoenfeld, G. Zandman-Goddard, L. Stojanovich, M. Cutolo, H. Amital, Y. Levy, M. Abu-Shakra, O. Barzilai, Y. Berkun, M. Blank, J.F. de Carvalho, A. Doria, B. Gilburd, U. Katz, I. Krause, P. Langevitz, H. Orbach, V. Pordeus, M. Ram, E. Toubi and Y. Sherer
October 2007
M. Vainrib and I. Leibovitch

Background: Multiple primary malignancies are increasingly being detected among cancer patients. Objectives: To investigate the co-occurrence of primary bladder cancer and primary lung cancer, two established smoking-related neoplasms characteristically associated with increased risk of secondary cancers.

Methods: A retrospective search of the patient registry in our institution identified 25 patients (23 men and two women) who were diagnosed with both bladder cancer and lung cancer during the period 1990–2005. Medical records were reviewed and clinical and pathological data were extracted.

Results: In 21 patients (84%) bladder cancer was the first primary tumor and in 4 (16%) the second primary tumor. More than 90% of the patients had a history of smoking. Mean smoking exposure was 62.1 pack years (range 30–120). All bladder cancers were transitional cell carcinomas with the majority being superficial at presentation. Most lung cancers were of the non-small cell type. Second primary lung cancers were significantly more advanced at diagnosis. Overall, mean follow-up was 105.8 months (range 6–288). Seven patients (28%) were alive at the time of evaluation; 68% died of lung cancer, while none died of bladder cancer.

Conclusions: Second primary lung cancer may occur in patients with bladder carcinoma and vice versa. In view of the relatively frequent involvement of the genitourinary tract as a site of multiple primary tumors, urologists may have a key role in the detection of second primary tumors arising in the genitourinary tract, or second primary tumors that occur in patients with primary genitourinary tract malignancies.

September 2007
K. Thomas, J. Yaphe and A. Matalon

Background: Smoking continues to be the most significant preventable  cause of morbidity and early mortality in the developed world. Primary care physicians are not fufilling their potentially vital and effective role regarding tobacco use and dependence.

Objectives: To evaluate current primary care physician practise in promoting smoking cessation.

Methods: This observational study evaluated physician recording of smoking status by analysis of patients’ electronic medical records. The 126 primary care physicians were based in 23 Tel Aviv clinics treating 144, 811 patients. We also assessed additional physician anti-smoking activities by telephone questionnaire of 178 randomly selected patients.

Results: Analysis of the EMRs[1] revealed that an average of 4.4% of patients per physician were recorded as smokers (as compared to a known smoking rate in this patient population of 24%). Male physicians recorded a significantly higher proportion of their patients as smokers in the EMR compared to female physicians (P < 0.05). A non-significantly higher rate of recording smokers was found in doctors who had completed postgraduate specialization in family medicine as compared to non-specialists. The questionnaire results show that 41% of patients interviewed recalled being asked if they smoked and 31% of smoking patients had been advised to quit. A non-significantly higher proportion of male as compared to female patients reported being questioned if they smoked, and if they were smokers, being advised to quit.

Conclusions: This study shows low rates of physician intervention to promote smoking cessation. It appears that a large proportion of the primary care physicians surveyed do not follow recommendations to promote smoking cessation among their patients. Intervention among adolesent smokers was particularly inadequate. Further action is needed to improve the performance of physicians in aiding smoking cessation.

[1] EMR = electronic medical record

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