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עמוד בית Tue, 24.09.19

December 2010


Original Articles
E. Horowitz, I. Abadi-Korek, M. Shani and J. Shemer

Background: The European Quality of Life 5-Dimensions questionnaire is one of the most commonly used measures of health-related quality of life.

Objectives: To present the feasibility, reliability, and validity of the Hebrew version of the EQ-5D[1].

Methods: We conducted face-to-face interviews with a representative sample (n=1666) of the Israeli Jewish population. The data collected included demographic and medical information, and self-valuation of health using the EQ-5D descriptive system, Visual Analogue Scale and Time Trade-Off. Construct validity was assessed by assuming that older individuals, those with a greater burden of diseases, and those reporting experience with their own severe illness would have lower EQ-5D indexes, VAS[2] and TTO[3] values. Test-retest reliability was assessed in a small sample (n=50) that was reevaluated after a 3 week interval.

Results: Test-retest reliability of the EQ-5D and VAS was very high (r ≥ 0.85). Reliability of the TTO was moderate (r = 0.48). There were significant differences in the EQ-5D index, profiles, VAS and TTO between healthy and sick respondents and younger and older respondents, indicating good validity of the instrument.

Conclusions: The Hebrew translation of the EQ-5D is a practical, reliable and valid instrument for assessing the health-related quality of life of the general Israeli Jewish population.






[1] EQ-5D = European Quality of Life 5-Dimensions

[2] VAS = Visual Analogue Scale

[3] TTO = Time Trade-Off


O. Ronen, S. Bar Cohen and D. Rund

Background: Traditionally, medication dosage was based on clinical and demographic parameters, but drug metabolism was recently recognized as an important factor for proper dosing and prediction of side effects. Metabolic considerations are crucial when administering drugs with a narrow therapeutic index, such as those of the thioguanides family (azathioprine and 6-MP). These can cause life-threatening myelosuppression due to low activity of a critical metabolic enzyme, thiopurine S-methyl transferase. A number of single nucleotide substitutions encoding variant enzymes account for most enzyme deficiencies.

Objectives: To determine the frequency of individuals from different Israeli ethnic groups who may be at risk for drug toxicity from drugs of the thioguanide family due to enzymatic variants.

Methods: DNA analysis was performed using polymerase chain reaction methods. We tested TPMT[1] allelic variants TPMT*3A (G460A, A719G), TPMT*3B (G460A) and TPMT*3C (A719G) in five subpopulations in Israel: mixed-origin Israeli Jews, Arabs, Druze, Jews of Kurdish extraction, and Ethiopian Jews.

Results: The Druze (P = 0.0002) and Ethiopian Jewish (P = 0.015) subpopulations had a significantly unique distribution of allelic variants compared to the rest of the Israeli population. The Druze subpopulation showed a high number of TPMT variants with decreased activity, and a homozygote for TPMT*3A/ *3A was detected.  Ethiopian Jews were found to carry mainly the TPMT*3C variant, also observed in other studies of African populations.

Conclusions: It is advisable that Druze patients be tested for the TPMT enzyme before starting treatment with 6-MP or azathioprine. Such testing may also be considered for other Israeli ethnic subgroups.






[1] TMPT = thiopurine S-methyl transferase


A. Kapiev, I. Rabin, R. Lavy, B. Chikman, Z. Shapira, H. Kais, N. Poluksht, Y. Amsalam, Z. Halpern, I. Markon, I. Wassermann and A. Halevy

Background: Gastric cancer continues to be a leading cause of cancer death. The treatment approach varies, and preoperative staging is therefore crucial since an exploratory laparotomy for unresectable gastric cancer will be followed by an unacceptably high morbidity and mortality rate.

Objectives: To assess the added value of diagnostic laparoscopy to conventional methods of diagnosis such as computed tomography in avoiding unnecessary laparotomies.

Methods: A retrospective study on 78 patients scheduled for curative gastrectomy based on CT staging was conducted. DL[1] was performed prior to exploratory laparotomy.

Results: In 23 of 78 patients (29.5%), unexpected peritoneal spread not detected on preoperative CT was found. Fifty-five patients underwent radical gastrectomy, 15 patients were referred for downstaging and 8 patients underwent a palliative procedure.

Conclusions: Based on our results, DL should be considered in all gastric cancer patients scheduled for curative gastrectomy.






[1] DL = diagnostic laparoscopy


U. Nussinovitch, U. Katz, M. Nussinovitch and N. Nussinovitch

Background: Familial dysautonomia is a hereditary disease characterized by dysfunction of the sensory and autonomic nervous systems. Studies in patients with familial dysautonomia have shown that abnormal cardiac autonomic denervation might influence repolarization. Autonomic tone also affects atrial conduction parameters and P-wave dispersion, which are predictive of atrial fibrillation.

Objectives: To examine the possible association of familial dysautonomia with abnormal atrial conduction and P-wave dispersion.

Methods: The study population included 12 patients with familial dysautonomia and age and sex-matched control subjects. All participants underwent a 12-lead electrocardiogram under strict conditions. P-wave lengths and P-wave dispersion were computed from a randomly selected beat and an averaged beat using designated computer software.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in minimal, maximal, and average P-wave duration or P-wave dispersion for a randomly selected beat. P-wave dispersion for an averaged beat was also similar. During 6 months follow-up, no supraventricular arrhythmias were documented in either group.

Conclusions: We found that patients with familial dysautonomia had P-wave dispersion parameters not significantly different from those of controls. Further research is required to clarify the effects of dysautonomia on atrial conduction in familial dysautonomia.

O. Baron-Epel, L. Keinan-Boker, R. Weinstein and T. Shohat

Background: During the last few decades much effort has been invested into lowering smoking rates due to its heavy burden on the population's health and on costs for the health care services.

Objectives: To compare trends in smoking rates between adult Arab men and Jewish men and women during 2000–2008.

Methods: Six random telephone surveys were conducted by the Israel Center for Disease Control in 2000–2008 to investigate smoking rates. The number of respondents was 24,976 Jews men and women and 2564 Arab men. The percent of respondents reporting being current smokers was calculated for each population group (Jews and Arabs) by age, gender and education, and were studied in relation to time.

Results: Among Jewish men aged 21–64 smoking declined during 2000–2008 by about 3.5%. In the 21–44 age group this decline occurred only among respondents with an academic education. Among Jewish women this decline also occurred at ages 21–64, and in the 45–64 age group this decline was due only to a decline in smoking among those with an academic education. Among Arab men aged 21–64 an increase in smoking rates of about 6.5% was observed among both educated and less educated respondents.

Conclusions: Smoking prevalence is declining in Israel among Jews, but not among Arab men. The larger decrease in smoking rates among academics will, in the future, add to the inequalities in health between the lower and higher socioeconomic status groups and between Arabs and Jews. This calls for tailored interventions among the less educated Jews and all Arab men.

A. Blatt, S. Minha, G. Moravsky, Z. Vered and R. Krakover

Background: Appropriate antibiotic use is of both clinical and economic significance to any health system and should be given adequate attention. Prior to this study, no in-depth information was available on antibiotic use patterns in the emergency department of Hadassah Medical Center.

Objectives: To describe the use and misuse of antibiotics and their associated costs in the emergency department of Hadassah Medical Center.

Methods: We analyzed the charts of 657 discharged patients and 45 admitted patients who received antibiotics in Hadassah Medical Center’s emergency department during a 6 week period (29 April – 11 June 2007). A prescription was considered appropriate or inappropriate if the choice of antibiotic, dose and duration by the prescribing physician after diagnosis was considered suitable or wrong by the infectious diseases consultant evaluating the prescriptions according to Kunin’s criteria.

Results: The overall prescribing rate of antibiotics was 14.5% (702/4830) of which 42% were broad- spectrum antibiotics. The evaluated antibiotic prescriptions numbered 1105 (96 prescriptions containing 2 antibiotics, 2 prescriptions containing 3 antibiotics), and 54% of them were considered appropriate. The total inappropriate cost was 3583 NIS[1] (1109 USD PPP[2]) out of the total antibiotic costs of 27,300 NIS (8452 USD PPP). The annual total antibiotic cost was 237,510 NIS (73,532 USD PPP) and the annual total inappropriate cost was 31,172 NIS (9648 USD PPP). The mean costs of inappropriate prescriptions were highest for respiratory (112 NIS, 35 USD PPP) and urinary tract infection (93 NIS, 29 USD PPP). There were more cases when the optimal cost was lower than the actual cost (N=171) than when optimal cost was higher than the actual cost (N=9). In the first case, the total inappropriate costs were 3805 NIS (1,178 USD PPP), and in the second case, -222 NIS (68.7 USD PPP).

Conclusions: The use of antibiotics in emergency departments should be monitored, especially in severely ill patients who require broad-spectrum antibiotics and for antibiotics otherwise restricted in the hospital wards. Our findings indicate that 12% of the total antibiotic costs could have been avoided if all prescriptions were optimal.






[1] NIS = New Israeli Shekel



[2] USD PPP = US dollar purchasing power parity


M. Ojeniran, R. Shouval, I.N. Miskin,A.E. Moses and A. Shmueli

Background: Appropriate antibiotic use is of both clinical and economic significance to any health system and should be given adequate attention. Prior to this study, no in-depth information was available on antibiotic use patterns in the emergency department of Hadassah Medical Center.

Objectives: To describe the use and misuse of antibiotics and their associated costs in the emergency department of Hadassah Medical Center.

Methods: We analyzed the charts of 657 discharged patients and 45 admitted patients who received antibiotics in Hadassah Medical Center’s emergency department during a 6 week period (29 April – 11 June 2007). A prescription was considered appropriate or inappropriate if the choice of antibiotic, dose and duration by the prescribing physician after diagnosis was considered suitable or wrong by the infectious diseases consultant evaluating the prescriptions according to Kunin’s criteria.

Results: The overall prescribing rate of antibiotics was 14.5% (702/4830) of which 42% were broad- spectrum antibiotics. The evaluated antibiotic prescriptions numbered 1105 (96 prescriptions containing 2 antibiotics, 2 prescriptions containing 3 antibiotics), and 54% of them were considered appropriate. The total inappropriate cost was 3583 NIS[1] (1109 USD PPP[2]) out of the total antibiotic costs of 27,300 NIS (8452 USD PPP). The annual total antibiotic cost was 237,510 NIS (73,532 USD PPP) and the annual total inappropriate cost was 31,172 NIS (9648 USD PPP). The mean costs of inappropriate prescriptions were highest for respiratory (112 NIS, 35 USD PPP) and urinary tract infection (93 NIS, 29 USD PPP). There were more cases when the optimal cost was lower than the actual cost (N=171) than when optimal cost was higher than the actual cost (N=9). In the first case, the total inappropriate costs were 3805 NIS (1,178 USD PPP), and in the second case, -222 NIS (68.7 USD PPP).

Conclusions: The use of antibiotics in emergency departments should be monitored, especially in severely ill patients who require broad-spectrum antibiotics and for antibiotics otherwise restricted in the hospital wards. Our findings indicate that 12% of the total antibiotic costs could have been avoided if all prescriptions were optimal.






[1] NIS = New Israeli Shekel



[2] USD PPP = US dollar purchasing power parity


S. Lurie, H. Asaala, O. Schwartz Harari, A. Golan and O. Sadan

Background: Although the presence of bacteria in the cervix is not a sign of disease, the majority of pathogens involved in pelvic inflammatory disease originate from this "normal" flora.

Objectives: To assess the distribution of cervical non-gonococcal and non-chlamydial bacteria in hospitalized women with PID[1] and the bacteria's antibiotic sensitivity.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the cultures obtained from the uterine cervix over a 1 year period (2008) at Wolfson Medical Center, Holon. The distribution of cervical non-gonococcal and non-chlamydial bacteria in women with PID and the bacteria's antibiotic sensitivity was compared to that in our previous 1 year study that was performed at Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot (1988–89). 

Results: In 2008, a total of 412 cultures were obtained of which 126 (30.5%) were sterile. The prevalence of negative cultures was similar in 2008 and in 1988, namely, 30.5% and 33.7%, respectively (P = 0.23). PID was finally diagnosed in 116 patients with positive cultures. The most prevalent bacteria in the 2008 study were Enterococcus species and Escherichia coli – 24.0 % and 26.4% respectively compared to 18.0% and 38.1% in the 1988 study, with the decrease in E. coli isolates being significant (P = 0.0003). In 2008 the antimicrobial sensitivity for various antibiotics ranged from 44.3% to 100.0% (median 90.2%) while in 1988 it ranged from 2.9% to 80.1% (median 51.9%).

Conclusions: The cervical bacterial flora in hospitalized women with PID did not vary significantly between 1988 and 2008. However, antimicrobial sensitivity of the isolated bacteria increased dramatically, probably due to a decrease in resistance to antibiotics.






[1] PID = pelvic inflammatory disease


Y. Oren, Y. Shapira, N. Agmon-Levin, S. Kivity, Y. Zafrir, A. Altman, A. Lerner and Y. Shoenfeld

Background: Hypovitaminosis D has been shown to be extremely common in various regions around the world, mostly at high latitudes. Israel is characterized by certain features – cultural (e.g., ethnic isolates) and geographic (e.g., sunny climate) – that have been identified for their possible association with vitamin D status.

Objectives: To conduct an ecological study on a representative sample of the population of Israel, testing vitamin D status across age groups, genders, ethnic groups, and seasons.

Methods: We obtained serum samples from 195 healthy Israeli volunteers representing a broad demographic spectrum. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were measured with the commercial kit Liaison 25(OH)D Assay (DiaSorin, Italy).

Results: The mean vitamin D level for the entire cohort was surprisingly low (22.9 ± 10.1 ng/ml), with 149 subjects (78%) suffering from vitamin D insufficiency (< 30 ng/ml). Vitamin D status was better in infants than in older age groups. Differences by gender were significant only in the infant age group (i.e., vitamin D status was worse among females) and were not prominent across older ages. Israelis of Ashkenazi origin had higher vitamin D mean levels than those of Sephardic origin, who, in turn, had higher vitamin D levels than Arab subjects (31.4 ± 12, 24.1 ± 10, and 17.6 ± 9 ng/ml respectively). With regard to season, there were no differences between the samples collected in winter and the samples collected in summer.

Conclusions: The results suggest that hypovitaminosis D is common across all ages, genders and seasons in Israel, a country characterized by a sunny Mediterranean climate. Specific ethnic groups may be at especially high risk.

Letters
M. Warman, MD; J. Katz and E. Bimstein; I. Yaniv, MD, Lewy, PhD, G. Avrahami, MD, M. Jeison, PhD, B. Stark, MD and Z. Laron, MD.
הבהרה משפטית: כל נושא המופיע באתר זה נועד להשכלה בלבד ואין לראות בו ייעוץ רפואי או משפטי. אין הר"י אחראית לתוכן המתפרסם באתר זה ולכל נזק שעלול להיגרם. כל הזכויות על המידע באתר שייכות להסתדרות הרפואית בישראל. מדיניות פרטיות
ז'בוטינסקי 35 רמת גן, בניין התאומים 2 קומות 10-11, ת.ד. 3566, מיקוד 5213604. טלפון: 03-6100444, פקס: 03-5753303