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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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January 2023
Naama Hermann MD, Pnina Mor CNM PhD, Orit Kaidar-Person MD, Rinat Bernstein-Molho MD, Mali Brodsky RN MSc, Dana Madorsky Feldman MD, Anath A. Flugelman MD MPH MA, Hadar Aboody Nevo MD, Danna Meshoulam Avital MD, Miri Sklair-Levy MD, Eitan Friedman MD PhD, Tanir M. Allweis MD

Background: Population screening for the BRCA mutations in Ashkenazi Jewish women was recently implemented in Israel and is expected to lead to a 10-fold increase in the diagnosis of asymptomatic carriers. Performing the screening follow-up within multidisciplinary dedicated clinics for carriers is recommended for early detection and risk reduction.

Objectives: To determine the availability, capacity, and practices of dedicated screening clinic for BRCA carriers in Israel.

Methods: A telephone-based survey of all public hospitals in Israel was conducted October 2020 to August 2021 to determine whether they had a dedicated clinic. Dedicated clinics were defined as multidisciplinary screening clinics offering at least breast and gynecological screening and risk reducing services on site. The clinic director or nurse navigator answered a questionnaire about screening practices followed by a semi-structured interview.

Results: Of the ten dedicated BRCA clinics found in Israel, nine participated. Approximately 4500 BRCA carriers are currently being followed. No specialized clinics are available in the southern district or in the northernmost half of the northern district of Israel, leading to a disparity between periphery and center. Screening recommendations, although asserted as adhering to international guidelines, vary among clinics including age at initiating of clinical exam, use of adjunct imaging modalities, and follow-up during lactation and after risk reducing surgery.

Conclusions: There is a suboptimal distribution of dedicated clinics for BRCA carriers in Israel. Nationally centralized attempt to create guidelines that will unify screening practices is warranted, especially considering the expected increase in demand.

May 2021
Vladimir Poletaev MD, Dante Antonelli MD, Galina Litskevich MD, and Yoav Turgeman MD

Background: The cold season seems to be a trigger for atrial fibrillation (AF). Some reports are controversial and demonstrate variability according to the climatic characteristics in different regions.

Objective: To analyze whether meteorological factors contribute to seasonal variation of exacerbation of AF diagnosed in patients referred to the emergency department (ED) of our hospital.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed medical data of consecutive patients admitted to the ED with symptomatic acute onset AF from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018. We recorded the mean monthly outdoor temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity during the study period.

Results: During the study period, 1492 episodes of AF were recorded. New onset AF were 639 (42.8%) and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) were 853 (57.2%) (P = 0.03). The number of overall admission of AF episodes was not distributed uniformly through the year. Incidence of AF episodes peaked during December and was lowest in June (P = 0.049). Of 696 episodes (46.6 %) the patients were hospitalized and for 796 (53.4%) the patients were discharged (0.01). The number of hospitalizations was not distributed uniformly through the year (P = 0.049). The highest number of hospitalizations happened in December and the lowest in May. Outdoor temperature and barometric pressure (but not relative humidity) may mediate a monthly fluctuation in AF episodes with highest number of ED visits in December and the lowest in June.

Conclusions: Meteorological conditions influence exacerbation of AF episodes and hospitalization. Outdoor temperature and barometric pressure may mediate a monthly fluctuation in AF

October 2019
Mahmud Mahamid MD, Ariella Bar-Gil Shitrit MD, Hana Amara MD, Benjamin Koslowsky MD, Rami Ghantous RN and Rifaat Safadi MD

Background: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two major classic presentations of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Studies have shown a wide variation in the incidence and prevalence attributed to different geographic and ethnic populations.

Objectives: To assess the clinical characteristics of IBD among Arabs in Israel and to compare them to characteristics of IBD among Ashkenazi Jews.

Methods: This retrospective, comparative study compared the clinical characteristics of IBD among 150 Arabs from the Holy Family Hospital and the Nazareth Hospital EMMS, both located in Nazareth, Israel, to those of 97 age- and sex-matched Ashkenazi Jewish patients from Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

Results: The Arab cohort, which included 106 patients (70%) with Crohn's disease and 44 (29%) with ulcerative colitis, was compared to 97 Ashkenazi patients (81% with Crohn's disease and 17% with ulcerative colitis) (P < 0.05). Alcohol consumption was found in both groups, but Arabs smoked more (46% vs. 12%, respectively, P < 0.05). Obstructive phenotype was lower in Arabs (10% vs. 32%, P < 0.05). 5-aminosalicylic acid and anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha were prescribed for the Arab and Ashkenazi groups (89% and 21%, respectively). The need for surgical intervention due to disease severity and/or complications was not significant (22% vs. 24%).

Conclusions: Despite similar reports of NOD2/CARD15 mutations, Crohn's disease is more common than ulcerative colitis within the Arab-Israeli population. Increased smoking rates may explain milder disease severities in Arabs, as reflected by lower obstructive pattern and frequent use of milder therapeutic modalities.

April 2015
Mahmoud Soubra MD, Yehudith Assouline-Dayan MD and Ron Schey MD FACG
October 2009
N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne and U. Goldbourt

Background: The incidence of stroke varies among ethnically and culturally diverse groups.

Objectives: To examine the ethnic-geographic patterns of stroke incidence in men and women with coronary heart disease in Israel, focusing on the extent to which this variability can be explained by known differences in risk factors for stroke.

Methods: Patients with documented coronary heart disease were followed for 6–8 years for incident cerebrovascular events. Baseline medical evaluation included assessment of vascular risk factors and measures of blood lipids. Among 15,052 patients, a total of 1110 were identified with any incident ischemic cerebrovascular event by ICD-9 codes, of whom 613 had confirmed ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack.

Results: A major excess of ischemic cerebrovascular events among Israeli Arab women as compared to males, and an inverse finding among Israeli born Jews, were noted. The high risk in the Arab population in Israel reflected an unfavorable risk profile, since predicted rates by multivariate analysis and observed rates were 69 and 68 per 1000, respectively. High ischemic cerebrovascular event rates were identified among patients born in the Balkan countries and North Africa (89 and 90 per 1000) but unfavorable risk factor levels of these individuals did not explain them. Most trends appeared similar in male and female patients. A comparison of observed and accepted-according-to-risk-profile rates of ischemic cerebrovascular events yielded significant differences (P = 0.04), consistent with an additional role of geographic/ethnic origin, resulting from factors that remain unrecognized,or with variables unassessed in this study.

Conclusions: We identified an ethnic diversity in stroke risk among Israeli born in different parts of the world beyond what could be expected on the basis of differences in known risk factors. These findings call for detailed research aimed at identifying additional differences in the risk profile of patients with atherothrombotic disease exposed to an increased risk of stroke.
 

December 2001
Asher Elhayany, MD

One of the most important issuesfor a country, its population and doctors is the effective use of its health system. The tremendous waste of resources. To combat this, and at the same time ensure that medical quality plays a role when making decisions on interventions, it is essential to equip doctors and clinic directors with information on the quality of the medical care they are providing. In order to assist clinic directors in maitaining medical quality, Clalit Health Services has developed comparative medical indices enabling doctors to compare their performance to that of their colleagues, as well as to the standard and their performance over time. The development of an index to evaluate the quality of medical treatment offered in clinics provides doctors and the health system with an essential tool to lessen the existing variation among doctors and to enhance and evaluate performance.

November 2001
Edna Katz, MD, Luis Gaitini, MD, Mostafa Samri, MD, Nachum Egoz, MD, PhD, Dean Fergusson, MHA and Andreas Laupacis, MD, MSc

Background: Concern about the side effects of allogeneic blood transfusion has led to an increased interest in methods of minimizing peri-operative transfusion. Technologies to minimize allogeneic transfusion include drugs such as aprotinin, desmopressin, tranexamic acid and erythropoietin, and techniques such as acute normovolemic hemodilution, cell salvage and autologous pre-donation.

Objective: To survey the current use in Israel of these seven technologies used to minimize allogeneic blood transfusion.

Methods: Our survey was conducted in 1996–97 in all hospitals in Israel with more than 50 beds and at least one of the following departments: cardiac or vascular surgery, orthopedics, or urology. All departments surveyed were asked: a) whether the technologies were currently being used or not, b) the degree of use, and c) the factors influencing their use and non-use. The survey was targeted at the heads of these departments.

Results: Pharmaceuticals to reduce allogeneic blood transfusion were used in a much higher proportion in cardiac surgery departments than in the other three departments. Pre-operative blood donation was used in few of the cardiac, urologic and vascular surgery departments compared to its moderate use in orthopedic departments. The use of acute normovolemic hemodilution was reported in a majority of the cardiac departments only. Moderate use of cell salvage was reported in all departments except urology where it was not used at all.

Conclusion: There is considerable practice variation in the use of technologies to minimize exposure to peri-operative allogeneic blood transfusion in Israel.
 

January 2000
Amos Katz MD, Adi Biron MD, Eli Ovsyshcher MD and Avi Porath MD MPH

Background: Previous studies have documented an increased incidence of cardiac mortality and sudden death during winter months.

Objectives: To evaluate seasonal variation in sudden death in a hot climate such as the desert region of southern Israel.

Methods: We analyzed the files of 243 consecutive patients treated for out-of-hospital sudden death by the Beer Sheva Mobile Intensive Care Unit during 1989-90. Daily, monthly and seasonal incidence of sudden death was correlated with meteorological data, including temperature, heat stress, relative humidity and barometric pressure.

Results: The seasonal distribution of sudden death was 23% in spring, 21% in summer, 25% in autumn and 31% in winter (not significant). In patients with known heart disease there were more episodes of sudden death in cold weather (<15.4°C) than hot (>34.2°C) (16 vs. 3, P<0.05). Resuscitation was less successful in cold compared with hot weather (28 vs. 11, P<0.05). Of patients older than 65 years, 11 sustained sudden death when heat stress was below 12.4°C compared to 2 patients when heat stress was above 27.5°C (P=0.05).

Conclusion: Despite the warm desert climate, there were more cases of sudden death in older patients and in those with known heart disease during the winter season and on particularly cold days.
 

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