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עמוד בית
Sun, 03.03.24

Search results


July 2022
Orna Tal MD MHA, Yaron Connelly MA, Tami Karni MD, Arnona Ziv MBA, Giora Kaplan PhD, and Baruch Velan PhD
March 2020
Yonatan Edel, Iftach Sagy, Elisheva Pokroy-Shapira, Shirly Oren, Ariela Dortort Lazar, Mohammad Egbaria, Shachaf Shiber, Bat Sheva Tal and Yair Molad

Background: Guidelines recommend initiation of parenteral biologic or oral target-specific disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs/tsDMARDs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who do not adequately respond to conventional DMARDs.

Objectives: To compare the preferred route of administration of bDMARDs or tsDMARDs in RA patients who were previously treated with at least one type.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted of consecutive RA patients previously prescribed bDMARDs or tsDMARDs. We analyzed the factors associated with patients' preferred route of administration.

Results: The cohort included 95 patients, mostly female (72.6%), seropositive (81.05%), mean age 63.4 ± 11.9 years. The oral route was preferred by 39 patients (41%) and 56 (59%) preferred the parenteral route. Most patients (65.9%) preferred to continue with their current route (P < 0.001). Switching from a current route was less common with patients who were currently using the oral route (13.3% vs. 38.2%, P = 0.04). Many patients (53.8%) who preferred the oral route had never experienced it before, while this was rare (3.6%) regarding the parenteral route (P = 0.0001). Employment status was associated with preference of the subcutaneous route over the intravenous route of bDMARDs (P = 0.01). Of the 21 patients who had previously experienced both parenteral and oral treatment, 16 (76.2%) preferred the oral route.

Conclusions: RA patients preferred to continue treatment with an administration route they have already experienced. However, when choosing an unexperienced route, significantly more patients preferred the oral route. Our results strengthen the understanding of patient preferences, which could improve drug adherence, compliance, and disease outcome.

February 2019
Einat Levy MSc MD, Eyal Sela MD, Vadim Letichevsky MD and Ohad Ronen MD

Background: The currently accepted treatment for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is systemic steroids as first-line and intratympanic steroids as salvage therapy. Intratympanic (IT) treatment is applied worldwide in many different ways with no universally accepted protocol.

Objectives: To present the current disparity in ISSHL management and to discuss the necessity for establishing a common national protocol.

Methods: In 2014 we conducted a national survey by sending questionnaires on ISSHL management to otologists in every otolaryngology department in the country.

Results: The majority of otolaryngology departments (56%) admit patients with sudden sensorineural hearing. Almost two-thirds (61%) of departments recommend supplementary initial treatment in addition to systemic steroids. None of the medical centers offer intratympanic steroid treatment as primary therapy, but 94% offer this treatment as a salvage therapy. Fewer than half the medical centers (44%) consider the maximal period for intratympanic therapy to be 4 weeks since hearing loss appears. Almost half (48%) the departments use intratympanic steroids once every 5–7 days, usually in an ambulatory setting. Almost half (44%) the medical centers tend to use not more than four courses of IT steroids. In 44% of departments an audiogram is performed at the beginning and at the end of the intratympanic course.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a variability among Israeli medical centers in many aspects of intratympanic treatment. We believe this reinforces the need for a comparative international study in order to establish a standard protocol.

July 2018
Avishay Elis MD, David Pereg MD, Zaza Iakobishvili MD, Dikla Geva PhD and Ilan Goldenberg MD

Background: A patient`s individual chance of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease can be determined by risk scores.

Objectives: To determine the risk score profiles of patients presenting with a first acute coronary event according to pre-admission risk factors and to evaluate its association with long-term mortality.

Methods: The research was based on a retrospective study of a cohort from the 2010 and 2013 Acute Coronary Syndrome Israeli Surveys (ACSIS). Inclusion criteria included first event and no history of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease risk equivalent. The Framingham Risk Score, the European Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE), and the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/ (ACC/AHA) risk calculator were computed for each patient. The risk profile of each patients was determined by the three scores. The prognostic value of each score for 5 year survival was evaluated.

Results: The study population comprised 1338 patients enrolled in the prospective ACSIS survey. The ACC/AHA score was the most accurate in identifying patients as high risk based on pre-admission risk factors (73% of the subjects). The Framingham algorithm identified 53%, whereas SCORE recognized only 4%. After multivariate adjustment for clinical factors at presentation, we found that no scores were independently associated with 5 year mortality following the first acute coronary event.

Conclusions: Patients with first acute coronary event had a higher pre-admission risk scores according to the ACC/AHA risk algorithm. No risk scores were independently associated with 5 year survival after an event.

May 2018
Eran Leshem MD, Michael Rahkovich MD, Anna Mazo MD, Mahmoud Suleiman MD, Miri Blich MD, Avishag Laish-Farkash MD, Yuval Konstantino MD, Rami Fogelman MD, Boris Strasberg MD, Michael Geist MD, Israel Chetboun MD, Moshe Swissa MD, Michael Ilan MD, Aharon Glick MD, Yoav Michowitz MD, Raphael Rosso MD, Michael Glikson MD and Bernard Belhassen MD

Background: Limited information exists about detailed clinical characteristics and management of the small subset of Brugada syndrome (BrS) patients who had an arrhythmic event (AE).

Objectives: To conduct the first nationwide survey focused on BrS patients with documented AE.

Methods: Israeli electrophysiology units participated if they had treated BrS patients who had cardiac arrest (CA) (lethal/aborted; group 1) or experienced appropriate therapy for tachyarrhythmias after prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation (group 2).

Results: The cohort comprised 31 patients: 25 in group 1, 6 in group 2. Group 1: 96% male, mean CA age 38 years (range 13–84). Nine patients (36%) presented with arrhythmic storm and three had a lethal outcome; 17 (68%) had spontaneous type 1 Brugada electrocardiography (ECG). An electrophysiology study (EPS) was performed on 11 patients with inducible ventricular fibrillation (VF) in 10, which was prevented by quinidine in 9/10 patients. During follow-up (143 ± 119 months) eight patients experienced appropriate shocks, none while on quinidine. Group 2: all male, age 30–53 years; 4/6 patients had familial history of sudden death age < 50 years. Five patients had spontaneous type 1 Brugada ECG and four were asymptomatic at ICD implantation. EPS was performed in four patients with inducible VF in three. During long-term follow-up, five patients received ≥ 1 appropriate shocks, one had ATP for sustained VT (none taking quinidine). No AE recurred in patients subsequently treated with quinidine.

Conclusions: CA from BrS is apparently a rare occurrence on a national scale and no AE occurred in any patient treated with quinidine.

April 2018
Elias Toubi MD, Shmuel Kivity MD, Yael Graif MD, Avner Reshef MD, Jaco Botha MSc, Irmgard Andresen MD, for the IOS Study Group

Background: Management of patients with hereditary angioedema with C1-inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) is evolving worldwide. Evaluating the Israeli experience may provide valuable insights.

Objectives: To compare demographics and icatibant treatment patterns and outcomes in patients with C1-INH-HAE enrolled in the Icatibant Outcome Survey (IOS) in Israel with those in other countries.

Methods: The IOS is an ongoing observational study that prospectively monitors real-world icatibant safety/tolerability and treatment outcomes.

Results: By July 2016, 58 patients from Israel and 594 patients from other countries were enrolled. Median age at diagnosis (16.7 vs. 21.3 years, P = 0.036) and median delay between symptom onset and diagnosis (0.8 vs. 6.6 years, P = 0.025) were lower in Israel compared with other countries, respectively. Differences in attack severity were not significant (P = 0.156); however, during follow-up, Israeli patients were less likely to miss > 7 days of work/school due to C1-INH-HAE-related complications (P = 0.007). A trend was also shown in Israel for earlier time to treatment (median 0.5 vs. 1.3 hours, P = 0.076), attack duration was shorter (median 5.0 vs. 9.0 hours, P = 0.026), and patients more often self-administered icatibant (97.2% vs. 87.5%, P = 0.003), respectively. However, Israeli patients were less likely to treat attacks (P = 0.036). Whereas patients in Israel reported exclusive use of danazol for long-term prophylaxis, those in other countries used various agents, including C1-INH.

Conclusions: Recognition of C1-INH-HAE and timeliness of icatibant treatment appear more favorable, and attack duration shorter, in Israel compared with other countries.

March 2018
Ronit Koren MD, Yifat Wiener MD, Karen Or MD, Carlos A. Benbassat MD and Shlomit Koren MD

Background: Previous surveys demonstrated variations in the clinical practices relating to the treatment and screening of maternal thyroid dysfunction.

Objectives: To study the current practices in the management of subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) and thyroid nodules during pregnancy of obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and endocrinologists in Israel.

Methods: An electronic questionnaire was sent by email to all members of the Israeli Endocrine Society and the Israel Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Questionnaires included demographic data and clinical scenarios with questions regarding the screening and management of pregnant women with SCH, hypothyroxinemia, and a palpable thyroid nodule. The questionnaire for OB/GYNs was slightly modified.

Results: We received 90 responses from endocrinologists and 42 responses from OB/GYNs. Among endocrinologists, 39% would repeat a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test of 2.9 mU/L with normal free thyroxine and treat with thyroxine if the second result was above 2.5 mU/L. Among OB/GYNs, 73% would manage a woman with SCH at the beginning of her pregnancy by themselves and only 22% would start thyroxine after a first TSH result above 2.5 mU/L. Concerning screening, 57% endocrinologists and 71% OB/GYNs recommended screening for thyroid dysfunction in every woman at the beginning of her pregnancy. Among endocrinologists, 54% would order an ultrasound for a palpable thyroid nodule and perform a fine needle aspiration only for suspicious lesions.

Conclusions: The medical approach to thyroid disease in pregnant women remains a matter of controversy. Our results support the need for larger and prospective clinical studies.

 

March 2017
Irina Briskman MD, Assaf Shelef MD MHA, Uri Berger MA, Yehuda Baruch MD MHA, Gali Bar MA, Jack Asherov MD, Artur Lvovski MD, Alan Apter MD and Yoram Barak MD MHA

Background: Deliberate self-harm (DSH) increases the danger of future suicide death and the risk increases with age. Self-harm in older adults is often associated with greater suicidal intent and lethality. 

Objectives: To investigate clinical and psychosocial variables of older patients (age ≥ 65 years) assessed due to DSH, compared with younger adults.

Methods: Patients admitted to the Emergency Department following DSH during an 8 year period were included.

Results: Of 1149 participants, 187 (16.6%) were older adults (age ≥ 65) and 962 (83.4%) were younger adults (< 65). The older adults reported DSH closer to mid-day (P < 0.01) and suffered more frequently from adjustment disorder and depression. Personality disorders and schizophrenia were less commonly diagnosed (P < 0.001). Prescription medication (sedatives and hypnotics) were a more frequent means (88% vs. 71%) of DSH among older patients. Younger patients with DSH used over-the-counter medications (21.9% vs. 6.4%) three times more than did the older patients (P < 0.01). Past DSH was significantly more frequent in younger adults. Following DSH the older patients were frequently admitted for further general hospitalization (P < 0.001). 

Conclusions: Older adults with DSH are a unique group with different clinical characteristics. There is a need for targeted prevention strategies and education of caregivers regarding DSH in older adults.

 

August 2016
Netta Bentur PhD, Shelley A. Sternberg MD and Jennifer Shuldiner MA

Background: Frailty is a dynamic process with transitions over time.

Objectives: To examine frailty transitions and their relationship to utilization of health services. 

Methods: Frailty status using the Vulnerable Elders Survey (VES-13) was determined for 608 community-dwelling older people interviewed in a 2008 national survey and for 281 re-interviewed in 2014. The effect of frailty on death 6 years later was assessed using Cox proportional hazards analysis. Participants were divided into four groups based on their frailty transition. Demographic, functional and health characteristics were compared between the four groups using the Kruskal-Wallis and paired t-test. The independent association between the four frailty groups and health services utilization was assessed using logistic regression. 

Results: Between 2008 and 2014, 24% of 608 participants were lost to follow-up, 9% were non- frail, 37% were frail, and 30% died. The Cox ratio showed that 86% of the non-frail in 2008 were alive 6 years later vs. 52% of the frail (hazard ratio 3.5, confidence interval 2.2–5.4). Frailty transitions in the 281 participants interviewed at both time points revealed that 19% stayed non-frail, 22% became frail, 22% stayed frail and 37% became more frail. Becoming frail, staying frail or becoming more frail compared to staying non-frail was independently associated with a greater risk for requiring help on a regular basis, having a formal caregiver, and requiring home care. 

Conclusions: Any transition away from the non-frail state increased the use of health care services. Interventions to target early transition to frailty should be encouraged.

 

January 2015
Orna Nitzan MD, Yoram Kennes PHD, Raul Colodner PHD, Walid Saliba MD MPH, Hana Edelstein, Raul Raz MD and Bibiana Chazan MD

Background: Due to increasing antimicrobial resistance, there has been renewed interest in old drugs that have fallen into disuse because of toxic side effects. One such drug is chloramphenicol. Data on the use and susceptibility patterns to chloramphenicol in developed countries in recent years are limited.

Objectives: To assess the susceptibility of bacteria to chloramphenicol, and evaluate the use of chloramphenicol in Israeli hospitals as influenced by infectious disease specialists’ attitudes with regard to its potential harms.

Methods: A national survey was conducted in all Israeli hospitals. Questionnaires were sent to the directors of infectious disease units and included items on chloramphenicol susceptibility in clinical isolates, use of chloramphenicol for the treatment of inpatients, local recommendations for use of chloramphenicol, and concerns regarding side effects.

Results: Chloramphenicol is used in 83.3% of hospitals, mostly for the treatment of aspiration pneumonia. While 22.2% of infectious disease unit directors believe that chloramphenicol should be avoided because of dangerous side effects, 88.9% believe there is a place for chloramphenicol in the treatment of patients in this era of increasing antibiotic resistance. Chloramphenicol susceptibility is routinely assessed in 44.4% of hospitals, with high susceptibility rates found among gram-positive, gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria.

Conclusions: In an era of increasing antibiotic resistance, many Israeli infectious disease unit directors believe that chloramphenicol has a role in the treatment of respiratory tract and other infections in hospitalized patients.

September 2014
Ilana Farbstein MD, Ivonne Mansbach-Kleinfeld MD, Judith G. Auerbach PhD, Alexander M. Ponizovsky MD PhD and Alan Apter MD

Background: The prevalence of ADHD is controversial, with many feeling that this disorder is over- or under-diagnosed.

Objectives: To study the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its association with socio-demographic characteristics, comorbid mental disorders, medical services, and methylphenidate use in the Israeli adolescent population.

Methods: The Israel Survey of Mental Health among Adolescents was conducted in a representative national sample of 14–17 year olds and their mothers. The Development and Well-Being Assessment was administered to identify DSM-IV diagnoses of ADHD and comorbid mental and learning disorders, and the results were verified by senior child psychiatrists. Respondents were also asked about their use of medical services and psychotropic drug intake in the past 12 months.

Results: Three percent of the adolescents met the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. ADHD was significantly associated with gender (higher prevalence in boys than girls), ethnicity (higher prevalence in Jews than Arabs/Druze), referral to a medical professional, and maternal help-seeking for the emotional or behavioral problems of the adolescent. Medication was prescribed to 2.9% of adolescents: 34.6% with a diagnosis of ADHD had not been prescribed methylphenidate in the past year, and 34.6% of the medicated subjects did not have a diagnosis of ADHD. None of the Arab/Druze adolescents was receiving stimulants compared to 3.7% of the Jewish adolescents.

Conclusions: Despite advances in public awareness of mental disorders in youth, a substantial proportion of older Israeli adolescents, especially from minority groups, are under-diagnosed or untreated. At the same time, many, especially from the Jewish majority, are over-diagnosed and potentially over-treated. Ethnic disparities in rates of mental health care highlight the urgent need to identify and overcome barriers to the recognition and treatment of these conditions.

March 2014
Sharon Orbach-Zinger, Alexander Ioscovich, Amir Aviram, Sergei Babytz, Shai Fein, Alon Reuveni and Leonid A. Eidelman
 Background: Postoperative pain is a common problem after cesarean deliveries.

Objectives: To characterize common obstetric anesthesia practices after cesarean deliveries in Israel in order to standardize postoperative pain relief protocols.

Methods: A questionnaire was completed during an interview with every obstetric anesthesia unit in all 25 delivery wards in Israel. Data were gathered on intraoperative anesthesia and analgesia protocols as well as postoperative pain relief protocols. A sub-analysis compared units whose director completed a formal obstetric anesthesia training program with those whose directors did not.

Results: Neuraxial morphine was used routinely in 12% of hospitals. No unit providing intrathecal morphine complied with American Society of Anesthesiologists guidelines for respiratory monitoring after use of neuraxial opioids. Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were used routinely in only half the wards, while patient-controlled analgesia was used infrequently. Postoperative verbal analog scores were not recorded routinely in 71% of units on postoperative day 1. The unit director's training significantly influenced the unit protocols.

Conclusions: Intrathecal morphine, the gold standard of care in cesarean deliveries, is rarely used, mainly due to shortage of staff and lack of formal obstetric anesthesia training. In addition, NSAIDs are also underused. There is a need for more formal training for obstetric anesthesiologists in Israel.

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. 

H.S. Oster, M. Benderly, M. Hoffman, E. Cohen, A. Shotan and M. Mittelman
 Background: Anemia is common in heart failure (HF), but there is controversy regarding its contribution to morbidity and mortality.

Objective: To examine the association of mild and severe anemia with acute HF severity and mortality.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected for patients admitted to all departments of medicine and cardiology throughout the country during 2 months in 2003 as part of the Heart Failure Survey in Israel. Anemia was defined as hemoglobin (Hb) < 12 g/dl for women and < 13 g/dl for men; Hb < 10 g/dl was considered as severe anemia. Mortality data were obtained from the Israel population registry. Median follow-up was 33.6 months.

Results: Of 4102 HF patients, 2332 had acute HF and available hemoglobin data. Anemia was common (55%) and correlated with worse baseline HF. Most signs and symptoms of acute HF were similar among all groups, but mortality was greater in anemic patients. Mortality rates at 6 months were 14.9%, 23.7% and 26.3% for patients with no anemia, mild anemia, and severe anemia, respectively (P < 0.0001), and 22.2%, 33.6% and 39.9% at one year, respectively (P < 0.0001). Compared to patients without anemia, multivariable adjusted hazard ratio was 1.35 for mild anemia and 1.50 for severe anemia (confidence interval 1.20–1.52 and 1.27–1.77 respectively).

Conclusions: Anemia is common in patients with acute HF and is associated with increased mortality correlated with the degree of anemia.

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