G. Korchia, Y. Amitai, G. Moshe, L. Korchia, A. Tenenbaum, J. Rosenblum and A. Schechter
Background: Hypovitaminosis D is common worldwide, even in sunny regions.
Objectives: To assess the prevalence and determinants of vitamin D deficiency in toddlers.
Methods: A cross-sectional prospective study was conducted in healthy Jewish children aged 1.5–6 years at five primary care pediatric clinics in the Jerusalem area during the period October 2009 to November 2010. Parents were interviewed regarding personal and demographic data and sun exposure. Blood samples were obtained for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25-OHD] level. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were defined as 25-OHD < 20 ng/ml and < 30 ng/ml, respectively.
Results: Of 247 children studied, 188 (76%) were ultra-Orthodox and 59 (24%) were Orthodox, traditional or secular. Mean (± SD) 25-OHD level was 25.7 ± 10 ng/ml. Only 73 children (29.6%) had sufficient 25-OHD levels, 104 (42.1%) had insufficiency, and 70 (28.3%) had 25-OHD deficiency. The difference between ultra-Orthodox and others was insignificant (25 ± 10 vs. 27.8 ± 10.5 ng/ml respectively, P = 0.062). Children aged 1.5–3 years had higher 25-OHD levels than those aged 3–6 years (28.6 ± 10.7 and 24 ± 9.2 ng/ml respectively, P < 0.001). Vitamin D deficiency was more common in winter (53%) and autumn (36%) than in summer (19%) and spring (16%). Toddlers attending long-day kindergartens had higher 25-OHD level than those staying at home or at short-day kindergartens (28.8 ± 11.5 and 24.7 ± 9.6 ng/ml respectively, P < 0.05).
Conclusions: A high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was found in toddlers in our study, mainly in older children and in the winter and autumn. We recommend routine supplementation of vitamin D for children beyond the agear.
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.
N.M. Idilbi, M. Barchana, U. Milman and R.S. Carel
Background: A worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is in progress. This disease carries a heavy socioeconomic burden.
Objectives: To compare the incidence rate of overall and site-specific cancers among Israeli Arabs with T2DM to that of Israeli Arabs without.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study of all adult Arab members of Clalit Healthcare Services in northern Israel was conducted over a 10 year period (1999–2008).
Results: During the study period 752 and 2045 incident cases of cancer were diagnosed among 13,450 adults with diabetes and 74,484 without, respectively. The follow-up time involved 817,506 person-years. Diabetes was associated with a standard incidence ratio (SIR) of 3.27 (95%CI 1.49–5.05) and 2.87 (95%CI 1.25–4.50) for pancreatic cancer in men and women, respectively. A significantly reduced SIR (0.67, 95%CI 0.36–0.99) was observed for esophageal, stomach and intestinal cancers in men.
Conclusions: Our findings support an association between T2DM and increased risk of cancer of the pancreas in Arab men and women. A significantly reduced risk of all other cancers was observed only in Arab men. Our findings underscore the need for effective diabetes and cancer prevention and intervention programs.
A. Tal, G. Rubin and N. Rozen
Background: Hip fractures are common in the elderly population, but surgical treatment of these fractures within the first 48 hours decreases morbidity and mortality. The management of patients with hip fracture requiring surgery who are taking warfarin anticoagulation is unclear.
Objectives: To determine the effect of vitamin K on hip fracture patients treated with warfarin.
Methods: We retrospectively examined the management of 21 patients with hip fractures who were being treated with warfarin at the time of admission. Vitamin K was given to 11 of the 21 patients. A third group, which served as a control, consisting of 35 hip fracture patients who were not being treated with anticoagulants was also evaluated.
Results: Patients who received vitamin K took fewer days to reach target international normalized ratio (INR) (1.73 ± 0.90 vs. 4.30 ± 1.89, P < 0.001) and had less preoperative time (2.64 ± 1.12 vs. 5.10 ± 2.42 days, P < 0.008) when compared with patients who did not receive vitamin K. In addition, these patients had statistically significantly shorter hospitalization stays (9.4 ± 1.9 and 13.2 ± 4.9 days, one-sided P < 0.06). There was no difference in the amount of blood found in the wound drains (111.8 ± 68.5 vs. 103.0 ± 69.4 ml) or the number of blood units administered (1.45 ± 1.29 vs. 2.00 ± 2.75 units).
Conclusions: Treatment with vitamin K for hip fracture patients who receive warfarin shortens preoperative time, reduces the length of hospitalization and probably reduces morbidity and mortality.
O. Segal, J.R. Ferencz, P. Cohen, .A.Y. Nemet and R. Nesher
Background: The number of patients treated with intravitreal injections has increased significantly over the past few years, mainly following the introduction of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibody intraocular medications. Bevacizumab is mostly used in this group of medications.
Objectives: To describe persistent elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) following intravitreal injection of bevacizumab.
Methods: We reviewed consecutive cases of persistent IOP elevation after intravitreal bevacizumab injection for exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A total of 424 patients (528 eyes) met the inclusion criteria and received 1796 intravitreal injections of bevacizumab. Persistent IOP elevation was found in 19 eyes (3.6%, 19/528) of 18 patients (4.2%, 18/424) with IOP elevated 30–70 mmHg, 3–30 days after injection.
Results: Mean IOP was 42.6 mmHg (range 30–70); IOP elevations occurred after an average of 7.8 injections of bevacizumab (range 3–13). Injected eyes (19/528) had a significantly higher incidence of elevated IOP than uninjected eyes (fellow eyes), 1/328, P < 0.001.
Conclusions: Like other anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) substances reported in a few recent studies, intravitreal injection of bevacizumab for neovascular AMD may be associated with persistent IOP elevation. Providers should be aware that significant IOP elevation might occur after repeated treatments.
A. Shalom, M. Westreich and S. Sandbank
Background: Loss of an excised lesion can have devastating clinical and legal consequences. Previously, the incidence of pathological specimen loss was 1/1466 (0.07%) due to failure to place pathology specimens in correctly labeled containers. We theorized that a strict protocol for handling specimens would help reduce losses.
Objectives: To devise a protocol to reduce the loss of pathology specimens.
Methods: In this study, 7105 specimens excised by one plastic surgeon were sent to the pathology laboratory using a strict protocol, which included: using a carefully labeled specimen container, inserting the specimen into the container immediately after excision (not at the end of the procedure), positioning the specimen container close to the surgical field during the surgery, and both the nurse and surgeon signing their names on the container at the end of the procedure to confirm the contents and labeling.
Results: One Mohs specimen was accidentally thrown away by a pathology laboratory technician after the frozen section report was written (an incidence of 1/7105, 0.00014%). All specimens arrived in the pathology department and no lesions were lost in the operating room.
Conclusions: A strict written protocol for specimen handling significantly reduces loss of pathology specimens.
D. Leibovici, S. Shikanov, O.N. Gofrit, G.P. Zagaja, Y. Shilo and A.L. Shalhav
Background: Recommendations for active surveillance versus immediate treatment for low risk prostate cancer are based on biopsy and clinical data, assuming that a low volume of well-differentiated carcinoma will be associated will a low progression risk. However, the accuracy of clinical prediction of minimal prostate cancer (MPC) is unclear.
Objectives: To define preoperative predictors for MPC in prostatectomy specimens and to examine the accuracy of such prediction.
Methods: Data collected on 1526 consecutive radical prostatectomy patients operated in a single center between 2003 and 2008 included: age, body mass index, preoperative prostate-specific antigen level, biopsy Gleason score, clinical stage, percentage of positive biopsy cores, and maximal core length (MCL) involvement. MPC was defined as < 5% of prostate volume involvement with organ-confined Gleason score ≤ 6. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to define independent predictors of minimal disease. Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis was used to define cutoff values for the predictors and measure the accuracy of prediction.
Results: MPC was found in 241 patients (15.8%). Clinical stage, biopsy Gleason`s score, percent of positive biopsy cores, and maximal involved core length were associated with minimal disease (OR 0.42, 0.1, 0.92, and 0.9, respectively). Independent predictors of MPC included: biopsy Gleason score, percent of positive cores and MCL (OR 0.21, 095 and 0.95, respectively). CART showed that when the MCL exceeded 11.5%, the likelihood of MPC was 3.8%Conversely, when applying the most favorable preoperative conditions (Gleason ≤ 6, < 20% positive cores, MCL ≤ 11.5%) the chance of minimal disease was 41%.
Conclusions: Biopsy Gleason score, the percent of positive cores and MCL are independently associated with MPC. While preoperative prediction of significant prostate cancer was accurate, clinical prediction of MPC was incorrect 59% of the time. Caution is necessary when implementing clinical data as selection criteria for active surveillance.
D. Merims, H. Nahari, G. Ben-Ari, S. Jamal, C. Vigder and Y. Ben-Israel
Background: Wandering is a common phenomenon among patients with dementia. While traditionally considered to be a behavioral problem, it also includes fundamental aspects of motor performance (e.g., gait and falls).
Objectives: To examine the difference in motor function and behavioral symptoms between patients with severe dementia who wander and those who do not.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study reviewing the medical records of 72 patients with severe dementia, all residents of a dementia special care unit. Motor and behavioral aspects were compared between "wanderers" and “non-wanderers.”
Results: No difference was found in motor performance including the occurrence of falls between the wanderers and non-wanderers. A significant difference was found in aggressiveness and sleep disturbances, which were more frequent among the wanderers. There was no preference to wandering at a certain period of the day among the patients with sleep disturbances who wander.
Conclusions: In a protected environment wandering is not a risk factor for falls. Sleep disturbances and wandering co-occur, but there is no circumstantial association between the two symptoms.
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.
Z. Samra, L. Madar-Shapiro, M. Aziz and J. Bishara
Background: Clostridium difficile infection is considered the most common cause of nosocomial infectious diarrhea among adults in the developed world. It is responsible for virtually all cases of pseudomembranous colitis. The Tox A/B enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is the most widely used test for the detection of C. difficile toxins A and B. However, it is associated with poor sensitivity and an unacceptable high rate of false-negative results.
Objectives: To evaluate the performance of the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE® assay, designed to simultaneously detect C. difficile-produced glutamate dehydrogenase (GHD) and toxins A and B.
Methods: Using the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE assay, the Tox A/B EIA, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we tested 223 stool specimens from hospitalized patients with antibiotics-associated diarrhea. Sensitivity and specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) were calculated for the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test and the Tox A/B EIA against PCR
Results: The C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test had a sensitivity of 83.5% and specificity of 94.3% compared to PCR for Tox A/B, with 93.7% correlation (PPV 98.5%, NPV 91.7%). The Tox A/B EIA yielded corresponding values of 72.1% and 93.1%, with 85.6% correlation (PPV 85.1%, NPV 85.8%).
Conclusions: Given the importance of an early and appropriate diagnosis of Clostridium difficile-associated infection, the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test may be of huge benefit to practitioners.