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עמוד בית
Sun, 16.06.24

September 2000

Edna Ben-Asher, PhD, Vered Chalifa-Caspi, PhD, Shirley Horn-Saban, PhD, Nili Avidan, PhD, Zviya Olender, PhD, Avital Adato, PhD, Gustavo Glusman, Marilyn Safran, Menachem Rubinstein, PhD and Doron Lancet, PhD
Joel Zlotogora, MD, PhD and Alex Leventhal, MD, MPH

The screening program in Israel for Tay-Sachs disease has proven very successful, giving Jewish couples a choice not to have affected children. The technology of carrier detection is now possible in several other severe genetic diseases that are relatively frequent among Jews. Due to the current confusion, a policy is needed to determine how the TSD screening program should be continued in the Israeli Jewish population. We propose that such a screening program include only mutations agreed by consensus as causing a disease severe enough to warrant the possibility of therapeutic abortion. We also propose that general screening include only mutations that are relatively frequent, taking into account the carrier frequencies in the Israeli Jewish population.

Original Articles
Paul Froom, MD, Estela Kristal-Boneh, PhD, Samuel Melamed, PhD, Gil Harari, MSc, Jochanan Benbassat, MD and Joseph Ribak, MD, MPH

Background: The degree to which serum total cholesterol predicts cariovascular disease is uncertain. While most authors have placed TC among the most powerful risk indicators of CVD, some have claimed that it predicted CVD in women only, or even not at all.

Objective: To determine the predictive value of serum total cholesterol relative to diabetes, smoking, systolic blood pressure and body mass index (kg/m2), for cardiovascular disease mortality in 3,461 occupationally active Israeli males.

Methods: A prospective follow-up was carried out for the years 1987-1998 to determine the effect of age, smoking habits, a history of diabetes, SBP, BMI and TC, at entry, on CVD mortality.

Results: There were 84 CVD deaths during a total of 37,174 person-years follow up. The hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for CVD mortality with respect to variables at entry were: diabetes 5.2 (2.1-13.2), age 2.2 (1.7-2.9), smoking 1.3 (1.0-1.8), SBP 1.4 (1.1-2.0), TC 1.5 (1.0-2.1) and BMI 1.2 (0.7-2.2). Among non-obese, non-diabetic, normotensive subjects the hazard ratio of TC adjusted for age and smoking was 1.16 (1.09-1.22) per 10 mg/dl. In the remaining subjects it was 1.04 (0.98-1.12) only. There was a significant interaction between TC and diabetes, hypertension or obesity (P=0.003).

Conclusions: In this population of Israeli males we found an interaction between TC and other risk indicators for CVD. Confirmation is required for the unexpected finding that the predictive value of TC for CVD mortality among non-diabetic, non-obese and normotensive subjects exceeded that among subjects with either of these risk factors.

Arnon Broides MD, Shaul Sofer MD and Joseph Press MD

Background: The outcome of cardiopulmonary arrest in children is poor, with many survivors suffering from severe neurological defects. There are few data on the survival rate following cardiopulmonary arrest in children who arrived at the emergency room without a palpable pulse.

Objective: To determine the survival rate and epidemiology of cardiopulmonary arrest in children who arrived without a palpable pulse at a pediatric ER in southern Israel.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients with cardiopulmonary arrest who arrived at the ER of the Soroka University Medical Center during the period January 1995 to June 1997.

Results: The study group included 35 patients. Resuscitation efforts were attempted on 20, but the remaining 15 showed signs of death and were not resuscitated. None of the patients survived, although one patient survived the resuscitation but succumbed a few hours later. The statistics show that more cardiopulmonary arrests occurred among Bedouins than among Jews (32 vs. 3, P0.0001).

Conclusions: The probability of survival from cardiopulmonary arrest in children who arrive at the emergency room without palpable pulse is extremely low. Bedouin children have a much higher risk of suffering from out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest than Jewish children.

Pesach Shvartzman, MD, Elena Rivkind, MD, Anat Neville, MBA, Michael Friger, PhD and Ami D. Sperber, MD, MSPH,

Background: First-degree relatives of colorectal cancer patients are the largest groups of individuals at increased risk for colorectal cancer.

Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and behavior to disease prevention and colorectal cancer screening among first-degree relatives of colon cancer patients.

Methods: A descriptive, point-prevalence epidemiological study was conducted among 215 first-degree relatives of survivors of colorectal cancer in the southern (Negev) region of Israel. Variables included perceived health status, knowledge about cancer screening, compliance rates with colorectal cancer screening, and interest in participation in early detection programs in the future.

Results: The mean age of the respondents was 47.9111.2 years, and 54% were males. Only 58 (27%) remembered having been encouraged to undergo an early detection test. In the previous year only 15% underwent fecal occult blood tests, while 9% had a barium enema and 14% an endoscopic examination of the colon by sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. A total of 49% of the asymptomatic respondents were unaware of recommendations for screening, and only 38.3% expressed any interest in participating in early detection programs in the future. Only 19% of respondents over the age of 50 and 8% of respondents over age 60 were interested in participating compared with 49% under the age of 50 (P0.0001).

Conclusion: A minority of first-degree relatives of colorectal cancer patients reported having been counseled to undergo screening, although most had seen their family physician in the previous 3 years. Primary care physicians should be more active in informing at-risk patients and encouraging them to undergo periodic screening.

Channa Maayan, MD, Onit Sela, MD, Felicia Axelrod, MD, D'vorah Kidron, MD and Drorith Hochner-Celnikier, MD

Background: Familial dysautonomia is a genetic disease in which there is a defect in the autonomic and sensory nervous systems. These systems have a major role in the reproductive system.

Objective: To study the inter-relationship of autonomic and sensory dysfunction and gynecological function.

Methods: The gynecological histories of 48 women with familial dysautonomia were analyzed retrospectively. Their mean age was 22.25 years (range 12-47). Thirty-three women (65%) were available for further questioning and investigation of hormonal status.

Results: Menarche had occurred in 32 of the 48 (66.7%). Their average age of menarche was significantly delayed as compared to their unaffected mothers (15.5 vs. 13.6 years respectively, P=0.002). The most prominent finding was the very high prevalence, 81.2%, of premenstrual symptoms. Seven of 26 had premenstrual syndrome symptoms of dysautonomic crisis. Blood sex hormone levels were normal in 27 of the 33 patients studied. None reached natural menopause. One patient had adenomyosis, and another, dysgerminoma. Three patients became pregnant and delivered healthy infants.

Conclusion: Menarche is delayed in women with FD, and the physiological monthly hormonal fluctuations may disturb autonomic homeostasis sufficiently to precipitate dysautonomic crisis.

Mordechai Yigla, MD, Salim Dabbah, MD, Zaher S. Azzam, MD, Ami-Hai E. Rubin, MD and Simon, A. Reisner, MD

Background: Data regarding the epidemiology of secondary pulmonary hypertension are scanty.

Objectives: To describe the spectrum and relative incidence of background diseases in patients with significant secondary PHT.

Methods: We identified 671 patients with systolic pulmonary artery pressure of 45 mm Hg or more from the database of the echocardiographic laboratory. Their background diseases were recorded and classified into three subgroups: cardiac, pulmonary and pulmonary vascular disease without pulmonary parenchymal disease. Age at the first echocardiographic study, gender and systolic PAP values were recorded. Data between the three subgroups were compared.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 6515 years, mean systolic PAP 6114 mm Hg and female:male ratio 1.21:1. At the time of diagnosis 85% of the patients were older than 50. PHT was secondary to cardiac disease in 579 patients (86.3%), to PVD without PPD in 54 patients (8%) and to PPD in only 38 patients (5.7%). Mean age and mean systolic PAP did not differ significantly among the three subgroups. There was a significantly higher female: male ratio in patients with PVD without PPD compared with cardiac or pulmonary diseases (1.7:1 vs. 1.2:1 and 1.7 vs. 0.8:1 respectively, P0.05).

Conclusions: The majority of patients with significant PHT are elderly with heart disease. PVD without PPD and chronic PPD are a relatively uncommon cause of significant PHT. Since the diagnosis of PHT is of clinical significance and sometimes merits different therapeutic interventions, we recommend screening by Doppler echocardiography for patients with high risk background diseases.

Hana Strul MD and Nadir Arber MD

There is increasing evidence to suggest that aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. This observation is supported by animal studies that show fewer tumors per animal and fewer animals with tumors after administration of several different NSAIDs. Intervention data in familial adenomatous polyposis have established that the effect is exerted on the process of human colonic adenoma formation. Supportive evidence in sporadic colorectal neoplasia, derived from 22 of 24 studies (both case-control and cohort), found a reduced risk in men and women for cancers of the colon and the rectum and for both aspirin and the other NSAIDs. Earlier detection of lesions as a result of drug-induced bleeding does not seem to account for these findings. Although the molecular mechanism responsible for the chemopreventive action of this class of drugs is not yet completely understood, the protection may affect several pathways including both cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis.

In the third millennium the question is not if but how. Based on the consistency of epidemiological, clinical and experimental data, the association between regular long-term aspirin or NSAIDs intake and a decreased death rate from colorectal cancer is sound and there is no need for further placebo trials. At the same time, despite this consistency there is no clear data on the dose, duration or frequency of use for cancer-preventive activity.

Eyal Breitbart, PhD and B.David Stollar, MD
Clinical Images
Jacob Urkin, MD and Manuel Katz, MD
Case Communications
Alexander Rozin, MD, Bishara Bishara, MD, Ofer Ben-Izhak, MD, Doron Fischer, MD, Anna Carter, PhD and Yeouda Edoute, PhD
Uriel Ben-Aharon, MD, M. Ilan Ben-Sira, MD and Doron Halperin, MD
Aliza Zeidman, MD, Benjamin Z. Sender, MD, Jumah Badear, MD and Zinaida Fradin, MD
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