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עמוד בית
Sat, 15.06.24

Search results

July 2023
Ravit Bassal PhD, Varda Shalev MD, Vered H. Eisenberg MD, Orit Stein-Reisner MD, Eduardo Schejter MD

Background: Depression has been shown to be associated with cervical tumors (CTs), an association mostly demonstrated in studies in which temporality could not have been ascertained.

Objectives: To study the association between depression and CTs and the influence of co-morbidities of this association in a large cohort study.

Methods: A retrospective computer-based cohort study was conducted. The cohort included 357,450 female members of Maccabi Healthcare Services. The cohort was classified as depressed or non-depressed using the International Classification of Diseases 9/10 codes. For each subgroup, demographic characteristics, behavioral characteristics, co-morbidities, and CTs diagnosis were obtained. The burden of co-morbidities was defined as the sum of major co-morbidities. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression analysis due to over-dispersion to estimate the relative risk (RR) for CTs with 95% confidence interval (95%CI).

Results: Depression was diagnosed in 15,789 women. Among this group, CTs were diagnosed in 1585 (10.0%). Among the 341,661 non-depressed, CTs were diagnosed in 4185 (1.2%). After adjustment to age and socioeconomic status, the association between depression and CTs was RR=9.2 (95%CI 8.7–9.9, P-value < 0.0001). The association between depression and CTs increased as the burden of clinical conditions increased (P-value < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Women with depression are at a higher risk for CTs, especially among those who have several co-morbidities. Tighter gynecology surveillance is crucial among these women.

October 2014
Yael Bar-On MD, Varda Shalev MD, Dahlia Weitzman PhD, Gabriel Chodick PhD and Howard Amital MD MHA
August 2007
G. Chodick, C.M. Ronckers, V. Shalev and E. Ron

Background: The use of computed tomography in Israel has been growing rapidly during recent decades. The major drawback of this important technology is the exposure to ionizing radiation, especially among children, who have increased organ radiosensitivity and a long lifetime to potentially develop radiation-related cancer.

Objective: To estimate the number of excess lifetime cancer deaths related to annual CT scans performed in children in Israel.

Methods: We used CT scan utilization data from 1999 to 2003 obtained from the second largest health management organization in the country to project age and gender-specific CT scan use nationwide. Based on published organ doses for common CT examinations and radiation-related cancer mortality risk estimates from studies in survivors of the atomic bomb, we estimated the excess lifetime risks for cancer mortality attributed to use of CT in children and adolescents (up to 18 years old) in Israel.

Results: We estimated that 17,686 pediatric scans were conducted annually in Israel during 1999–2003. We project that 9.5 lifetime deaths would be associated with 1 year of pediatric CT scanning. This number represents an excess of 0.29% over the total number of patients who are eventually estimated to die from cancer in their lifetime.

Conclusions: Pediatric CT scans in Israel may result in a small but not negligible increased lifetime risk for cancer mortality. Because of the uncertainty regarding radiation effects at low doses, our estimates of CT-related cancer mortality should be considered with caution. Nevertheless, physicians, CT technologists, and health authorities should work together to minimize the radiation dose for children to as low as reasonably achievable and encourage responsible use of this essential diagnostic tool.

December 2006
E.S. Kokia, R. Marom, V. Shalev, Y. Jan and J. Shemer
 Background: During war the health management organizations have tremendous difficulty monitoring members' needs according to geographic spread.

Objectives: To describe how an HMO[1] used its health information technology in a way that enables its management to receive updated online information on the demands of the insured, according to their distribution throughout the country during the time of the war in Lebanon in July-August 2006.

Methods: Data were derived from the computerized medical records of Maccabi Healthcare Services – the second largest HMO in Israel, providing care to more than 1.7 million members nationwide. Data on healthcare utilization by northern members were compared to the geographic distribution of clinics.

Results: The war was characterized by the massive evacuation of citizens southwards. During this period there was an abrupt decline in the utilization of medical services by northern members in the northern region. This decline returned to normal 10 days after the ceasefire. A reciprocal increase was noted in the use of health services by citizens from the north in other regions. This increase returned to normal after the war. No such pattern was noticed during the same period in 2005.

Conclusions: Real-time surveillance of trends in consumption of health services by citizens in times of regular daily living as well as during emergencies and wars is a vital management tool for medical directors responsible for providing health services.


[1] HMO = health management organization

October 2003
Y. Shapiro, J. Shemer, A. Heymann, V. Shalev, N. Maharshak, G. Chodik, M.S. Green and E. Kokia

Background: Upper respiratory tract illnesses have been associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Objective: To assess the influence of vaccination against influenza on the risk of hospitalization in internal medicine and geriatric wards, and the risk of death from all causes during the 2000–2001 influenza season.

Methods: A historical cohort study was conducted using computerized general practitioner records on patients aged 65 years and above, members of “Maccabi Health Care Services” – the second largest health maintenance organization in Israel with 1.6 million members. The patients were divided into high and low risk groups corresponding to coexisting conditions, and were studied. Administrative and clinical data were used to evaluate outcomes.

Results: Of the 84,613 subjects in the cohort 42.8% were immunized. At baseline, vaccinated subjects were sicker and had higher rates of coexisting conditions than unvaccinated subjects. Vaccination against influenza was associated with a 30% reduction in hospitalization rates and 70% in mortality rates in the high risk group. The NNT (number needed to treat) measured to prevent one hospitalization was 53.2 (28.2 in the high risk group and 100.4 in the low risk group). When referring to length of hospitalization, one vaccine was needed to prevent 1 day of hospitalization among the high risk group. Analyses according to age and the presence or absence of major medical conditions at baseline revealed similar findings across all subgroups.

Conclusions: In the elderly, vaccination against influenza is associated with a reduction in both the total risk of hospitalization and in the risk of death from all causes during the influenza season. These findings compel the rationale to increase compliance with recommendations for annual influenza vaccination among the elderly.

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