Elisheva Simchen, MD, MPH, Irit Naveh, RN, MSc, Yana Zitser-Gurevich, MD, MPH, Dalit Brown, MSc and Noya Galai, PhD
Objective: To explore the putative effect of cardiac rehabilitation programs on the health-related quality of life’ and ‘return to work’ in pre-retirement patients one year after coronary artery bypass grafting.
Methods: Of the 2085 patients aged 45-4 who survived one year after CABG and were Israeli residents, 145 (6.9%) had participated in rehabilitation programs. Of these, 124 (83%) who answered QOL questionnaires were individually matched with 248 controls by gender, age within 5 years. and the time the questionnaire was answered. All patients had full clinical follow-up including a pre-operative interview. The Short Form-36 QOL questionnaire as well as a specific questionnaire were mailed to surviving patients one year after surgery. Study outcomes included the scores on eight scales and two summary components of the SF-36, as well as return to work’ and ‘satisfaction with medical services’ from the specific questionnaire. Analysis was done for matched samples.
Results: Cardiac rehabilitation participants had significantly higher SF-36 scores in general health, physical functioning, and social functioning. They had borderline significant higher scores in the physical summary component of the SF-36. The specific questionnaire revealed significantly better overall functioning, higher satisfaction with medical care. and higher rate of return to work. While participants in cardiac rehabilitation and their controls were similar in their socio-demographic and clinical profiles, participating patients tended to be more physically active and more fully employed than their controls.
Conclusions: Rehabilitation participants had a self-perception of better HRQOL, most significantly in social functioning. Our findings of more frequent return to work and higher satisfaction with medical care should induce a policy to encourage participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs after CABG.
Gad Rennert and Yitzh Peterburg
Background: Knowledge of the prevalence of chronic disease in the population is essential for health planners and providers.
Objectives:To present the results of a concentrated effort by the largest health maintenance organization in Israel (Clalit Health Services) in order to develop a comprehensive register of chronic diseases.
Methods: In 1998, all 2,704 primary care physicians in Israel’s largest health provider were requested to report on all patients with selected chronic diseases. In addition, all the filled prescriptions for medications relevant to the investigated diseases and all relevant hospitalization events were added to the database. Prevalence rates were calculated based on the reporting practices only (1,653 physicians responsible for a total of 1,409,725 adults).
Results: Hypertension (10.2/100), diabetes (6.1/100), hyperlipidemia (5.7/100), peptic ulcer (4.7/100) and ischemic heart disease (4.3/100) were the most prevalent. Females had significantly higher rates of hypothyroidism, psychoses, neuroses and malignancies, and lower rates of ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure and asthma. Arabs had higher rates of diabetes mellitus and lower rates of ischemic heart disease, hypertension and hyperlipidemia than Jews. About 20% of the adult population had one or more of the selected chronic diseases.
Conclusions: Differences in rates noted between physicians, not explainable by population characteristics, may reflect differences in the quality and delivery of health services. Rate differences between demographic subgroups call for further studies on the etiology, susceptibility and natural history of these diseases.
Alex Kessler, MD, Ephraim Eviatar, MD, Judith Lapinsky, MD, Tifha Horne, MD, Nathan Shlamkovitch, MD and Shmuel Segal, MD
Alexander Blankstein, MD, Ilan Cohen, MD, Zehava Heiman, MD, Moshe Salai, MD, Lydia Diamant, RT, Michael Heim, MD and Aharon Chechick, MD
Background: Foreign bodies are sometimes overlooked in the initial evaluation of soft tissue wounds in the emergency room setting. The physical examination identifies foreign bodies that are superficial enough to be seen or palpated, while radiographs reveal those that are radio-opaque. If these two criteria are not met, however, the foreign body may remain undetected. These patients present later with long-standing pain in the area of penetration sometimes associated with localized tenderness.
Objectives: To assess the role of ultrasonography in the diagnosis and management of patients with a suspected retained foreign body.
Methods: Ultrasound was used in 21 patients with suspected retained foreign bodies and the diagnosis was positive in 19. Fifteen underwent a surgical exploration in which the ultrasound was used as an adjunctive modality either pre- or intraoperatively to assist in the localization of the foreign body.
Results: All procedures were successful. No postoperative complications were recorded at an average follow-up of 2 years. Three patients gradually became asymptomatic and were left untreated. One patient was lost to follow-up.
Conclusion: Sonography is an extremely effective tool for the late diagnosis of retained foreign bodies in the soft tissues. We suggest that its availability in the emergency room may decrease the rate of misdiagnosis and avoid these unfortunate cases, although this remains tc be proven.
Rivka Zissin, MD, Gabriela Gayer, MD, Michal Chowers, MD, Myra Shapiro-Feinberg, MD, Eugen Kots, MD and Marjorie Hertz, MD
Background: Abdominal tuberculosis usually presents with general symptoms and obscure abdominal complaints for which computerized tomography is often the first imaging study.
Objective: To evaluate the CT findings of abdominal tuberculosis.
Methods: The CT scans of 19 patients (10 men and 9 women aged 20-85 years) with proven abdominal tuberculosis were retrospectively reviewed to define the location and extent of the disease. The patients were referred for the study mainly with general systemic symptoms. Additional abdominal complaints were present in four, including acute abdomen in one. Two had symptoms deriving from the urinary tract. Nine patients had recently arrived from high prevalence countries five of them and two others were positive for human immunodeficiency virus. Three patients had a family history of tuberculosis one had previously been treated for tuberculosis and four others had an underlying chronic disease. The diagnosis of tuberculosis was established by standard microbiological and histological techniques.
Results: We divided the disease manifestations into intraperitoneal (n-13) and genitourinary involvement (n- 6). Peritoneal tuberculosis was fairly common, characterized by ascites, omental and mesenteric infiltration, and smooth thickening of the parietal peritoneum. One oncology patient had a false positive Tc-99m CEA isotope scanning, suggesting tumor recurrence. Genitourinary disease manifested mainly as hydronephrosis and calcifications. Three patients had pulmonary tuberculosis as well.
Conclusion: The CT findings of abdominal tuberculosis may mimic various diseases, mainly diffuse peritoneal malignancy. We emphasize the need to consider tuberculosis in the differential diagnosis in patients with obscure abdominal symptoms, especially with multi-organ involvement. A high degree of clinical suspicion and familiarity with the abdominal CT manifestations allow early diagnosis of this treatable disease.
Menashe N. Mukamel, MD, Yosef Weisman, MD, Raz Somech, MD, Zipora Eisenberg, MSc, Jacob Lanman, MD, Itzhak Shapira, MD, Zvi Spirer, MD and Uri Jurgenson, MD
Background: The modest clothing that Orthodox Jewish women wear exposes very little of their skin to sunlight. Under these conditions they may develop vitamin D deficiency, even in sunny Israel.
Objectives: To determine and compare the vitamin D nutritional status in Jewish orthodox mothers to that of non-orthodox mothers who live in the same metropolitan area in Israel.
Methods: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D was measured by competitive protein-binding radioassay in the sera of 341 Jewish Israeli mothers (156 orthodox and 185 non-orthodox). The sera were obtained 48-72 hours after childbirth during the late summer of 1998 and the spring of 1999.
Results: The mean (SD) serum concentration of 25-OHD was significantly (P<0.002) lower (13.5 ± 7.5 ng/ml) in the orthodox than in the non-orthodox mothers (18.6 + 9.6 ng/ml). Vitamin D deficiency (<5 ng/ml) and insufficiency (<10 ng/ml) were more common in the orthodox mothers (5.1% and 32.7% respectively) than in the non-orthodox mothers (2.7% and 13%, respectively). In subgroups of mothers supplemented with 400 units of vitamin D daily during pregnancy, vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were less common (2.2% and 13%, respectively) in orthodox and non-orthodox mothers (0% and 8.1%, respectively). Vitamin D insufficiency was more common in the winter than in the summer only among nonorthodox mothers.
Conclusions: The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in Israeli mothers raises the question whether vitamin D supplements should be given to pregnant women in Israel, at least to orthodox mothers.
Haim Reuveni, MD, Shifra Shvarts, PhD, Joachim Meyer, PhD, Asher Elhayany, MD, MPA and Dan Greenberg, MSc
Background: On 1 January 1995 a new mandatory National Health Insurance Law was enacted in Israel, The new law fostered competition among the four major Israeli healthcare providers (HMO5 or sick funds) already operating in the market due to the possibility that an unlimited number of patients and the relative budget share would shift among the HMOs. This led them to launch advertising campaigns to attract new members.
Objectives: To examine newspaper advertising activities during the early stages of healthcare market reform in Israel.
Methods: Advertising efforts were reviewed during a study period of 24 months (July 1994 to June 1996). Advertisements were analyzed in terms of marketing strategy, costs and quality of information.
Results: During the study period 412 newspaper advertisements were collected. The total advertising costs by all HMOs was approximately US$4 million in 1996 prices. Differences were found in marketing strategy, relative advertising costs, contents and priorities among the HMOs.
Conclusions: The content of HMO5 newspaper advertising was consistent with their marketing strategy. The messages met the criteria of persuasive advertising in that they cultivated interest in the HMOs but did not provide meaningful information about them. Future developments in this area should include consensus guidelines for advertising activities of HMOs in Israel, instruction concerning the content of messages, and standardization of criteria to report on HMO performance.