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עמוד בית Wed, 26.06.19

August 2007

G. Geulayov, J. Lipsitz, R. Sabar and R. Gross

Background: Depression is a leading cause of morbidity, disability and health care utilization. It is commonly encountered in primary care settings yet is often missed or suboptimally managed.

Objective: To summarize studies conducted in Israel on the prevalence of depression in primary care settings, its correlates, and predictors of treatment and outcome, and to discuss their implications for clinical practice and public health policy.

Methods: An electronic search was conducted using the MEDLINE and PsychINFO databases. The inclusion criteria were original studies that assessed aspects of depression in a population aged 18 or older, were conducted in primary care settings in Israel, and with sufficient detailed description of depression-related measures, study sample and outcome measures. Twelve articles reporting results from 7 studies met these criteria.

Results: The prevalence of current depression in primary care varied considerably across studies: 1.6–5.9% for major depression, 1.1–5.4% for minor depression, 14.3–24% for depressive symptoms. Depression was consistently related to female gender and few years of education, and was associated with disability, decreased quality of life, and increased health-related expenditure. Many cases of depression were undiagnosed and most patients had persistent depression or achieved only partial remission.

Conclusions: Depression represents a serious challenge for the primary health care system in Israel. Greater efforts should be focused on screening and treating depression in primary care. However, the studies reviewed here used different methodologies and assessed different aspects of depression, and, therefore, should be generalized cautiously. Systematic research on the prevalence, correlates and management of depression in primary care, with emphasis on collaborative care models, is strongly needed to inform research, clinicians and health care policy makers.


Original Articles
E. Cohen-Hillel, I. Yron, T. Meshel and A. Ben-Baruch

Background: Interleukin-8 is a prototypical inflammatory chemokine that induces leukocyte migration to inflammatory sites. Leukocyte recruitment in response to gradients of this chemokine is attenuated at advanced stages of inflammation to prevent damage to surrounding healthy tissues. Our published studies suggest that over-phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase in migration-desensitizing conditions is involved in cessation of cell motility. This over-phosphorylation of FAK[1] was induced by IL-8[2] only when the receptor transmitting the chemokine signals was CXCR2, and not CXCR1, indicating that the two IL-8 receptors diverge in their signaling properties.

Objectives: To analyze the regulation of FAK in CXCR2-expressing hematopoietic cells under conditions of migratory desensitization, focusing on the roles played by adhesion-related components in this process.

Methods: Under conditions of migratory desensitization, we determined IL-8-induced cell spreading and FAK localization following disruption of actin filaments, and evaluated the role of integrins in FAK phosphorylation.

Results: The disturbance of intact activity of actin filaments resulted in inhibition of cell spreading and modification of FAK intracellular localization upon IL-8 stimulation. Also, adhesion-dependent pre-stimulation of integrins was required for IL-8-induced FAK phosphorylation.
Conclusions: Intact actin filaments and integrins are required for optimal IL-8-induced FAK phosphorylation in conditions of migratory desensitization. These observations suggest that lack of adequate activity/regulation of adhesion-related components may give rise to FAK activities that are not appropriately controlled, possibly leading to pathological conditions that are associated with perturbed leukocyte migration phenotypes

[1] FAK = focal adhesion kinase

[2] IL = interleukin

G. Chodick, C.M. Ronckers, V. Shalev and E. Ron

Background: The use of computed tomography in Israel has been growing rapidly during recent decades. The major drawback of this important technology is the exposure to ionizing radiation, especially among children, who have increased organ radiosensitivity and a long lifetime to potentially develop radiation-related cancer.

Objective: To estimate the number of excess lifetime cancer deaths related to annual CT scans performed in children in Israel.

Methods: We used CT scan utilization data from 1999 to 2003 obtained from the second largest health management organization in the country to project age and gender-specific CT scan use nationwide. Based on published organ doses for common CT examinations and radiation-related cancer mortality risk estimates from studies in survivors of the atomic bomb, we estimated the excess lifetime risks for cancer mortality attributed to use of CT in children and adolescents (up to 18 years old) in Israel.

Results: We estimated that 17,686 pediatric scans were conducted annually in Israel during 1999–2003. We project that 9.5 lifetime deaths would be associated with 1 year of pediatric CT scanning. This number represents an excess of 0.29% over the total number of patients who are eventually estimated to die from cancer in their lifetime.

Conclusions: Pediatric CT scans in Israel may result in a small but not negligible increased lifetime risk for cancer mortality. Because of the uncertainty regarding radiation effects at low doses, our estimates of CT-related cancer mortality should be considered with caution. Nevertheless, physicians, CT technologists, and health authorities should work together to minimize the radiation dose for children to as low as reasonably achievable and encourage responsible use of this essential diagnostic tool.

G. Morali, Y. Maor, R. Klar, M. Braun, Z. Ben Ari, Y. Bujanover, E. Zuckerman, S. Boger and P. Halfon

Background: The Fibrotest-Actitest™ is a six-parameter scoring system that allows quantification of liver fibrosis and inflammation. This test has been validated by several studies in hepatitis B and C viruses and alcoholic liver disease, with a high correlation between the liver biopsy and the results of the FT-AT[1] (AUROC between 0.78 and 0.95).The FT-AT was introduced in Israel (Rambam Laboratory) in March 2005.

Objectives: To assess the results of HCV[2] patients who underwent the test during the period March 2005 to February 2006.

Methods: Serum was taken and brought to the central laboratory performing the tests within 4 hours. Six parameters were evaluated using commercial kits approved by the designer of the test (Biopredictive): total bilirubin, gamma-glutamyltransferase, alpha-2 macroglobulin, haptoglobin, alanine aminotransferase, and apolipoprotein-A1. The results were sent to the website of Biopredictive (France), which provided the FT-AT score online using a patented formula.

Results: Of the 325 patients tested, only 4 were not interpretable because of hemolysis. Patients' age ranged from 7 to 72 years (median 42); 54% were female. Liver biopsy was performed in 81 patients and was compared with the results of the Fibrotest. Findings were as follows: 27% of the patients were F0, 19% F1, 20% F2, 17% F3 and 17% F4; 18% were A0, 32% A1, 28% A2 and 22% A3. The AUROC curve comparing the Fibrotest with liver biopsy with a cutoff point at F2 and A2 for significant fibrosis and inflammation was 0.85 and 0.79 respectively.

Conclusion: Fibrotest is a simple and effective method to assess liver fibrosis and inflammation and can be considered an alternative to liver biopsy in most patients with HCV.

[1] FT-AT = Fibrotest-Actitest

[2] HCV = hepatitis C virus

R. Dankner, A. Chetrit and P. Segal

Background: Type 2 diabetes, an extreme state of glucose intolerance, has been found to be associated with cancer mortality; less is known about impaired glucose tolerance and cancer incidence.

Objectives: To examine the association between fasting and post-load plasma glucose and insulin, and the 20 year incidence of cancer.

Methods: We followed a sample of the Jewish Israeli population (n=2780), free of cancer at baseline,

from 1977-1980 to 1999 for cancer incidence and mortality. Baseline fasting and 1 and 2 hour post-load plasma glucose levels were recorded, as was insulin in 1797 of them.

Results: During 20 years, 329 individuals (11.8%) developed cancer. Cancer incidence for all sites differed between men and women (13.0% and 10.7%, P = 0.03), and among different glucose tolerance status groups (P = 0.01). Cancer incidence hazard ratio, by glucose status adjusted for gender, age, ethnicity, smoking and body mass index, was 1.24 (95%CI 0.96–1.62, P = 0.10) for impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, and 1.32 (95%CI 0.96–1.81, P = 0.09) for type 2 diabetes mellitus, compared to those who were normoglycemic at baseline. Fasting insulin and cancer incidence were not associated.

Conclusions: An increased long-term cancer risk for individuals with impaired fasting glucose or glucose tolerance, or diabetes, is suggested. Even this modest association could have substantial public health consequences.

M. Wolf, A. Primov-Fever, Y.P. Talmi and J. Kronenberg

Background: Posterior glottic stenosis is a complication of prolonged intubation, manifesting as airway stenosis that may mimic bilateral vocal cord paralysis. It presents a variety of features that mandate specific surgical interventions.

Objectives: To summarize our experience with PSG[1] and its working diagnosis.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of a cohort of adult patients with PGS operated at the Sheba Medical Center between 1994 and 2006.

Results: Ten patients were diagnosed with PGS, 6 of whom also had stenosis at other sites of the larynx and trachea. Since 2000, all patients underwent laryngeal electromyographic studies and direct laryngoscopy prior to surgery. Surgical interventions included endoscopic laser procedures (in 2 patients), laryngofissure and scar incision (in 1), laryngofissure with buccal mucosa grafting (in 3) or with costal cartilage grafting (in 1), laryngofissure with posterior cricoid split and stenting (in 1); one patient was not suitable for surgery. Postoperative follow-up included periodical fiberoptic endoscopies. Voice analysis was evaluated by the GRBAS grading. Seven patients were successfully decannulated within one to three procedures. Voice quality was defined as good in 7 patients, serviceable in 2 and aphonic in 1.

Conclusions: Posterior glottic stenosis may be isolated or part of complex laryngotracheal pathologies. Electromyographic studies and direct laryngoscopy must be included in the diagnostic workup. Costal cartilage or buccal mucosa grafts are reliable, safe and successful with respect to graft incorporation and subglottic remodeling.


[1] PSG = posterior glottic stenosis

J. Zlotogora, Z. Haklai and A. Leventhal

Background: The national program for the prevention of Down syndrome includes screening (using the triple test) and invasive diagnostic tests in women at risk for a Down syndrome pregnancy. However, despite the program, the majority of Down syndrome infants are born alive (approximately 1/1000 live births)

Objectives: To determine whether the relatively high incidence of Down syndrome at birth in Israel is the result of failure of the preventive program or due to informed choices of the mothers.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study using the national registry of Down syndrome for the years 1997 and 2004, according to the mothers' religion and place of residence and the reasons for prenatal diagnosis.

Results: Most of the babies affected with Down syndrome are born in religious or traditional conservative communities where termination of pregnancy is usually not an option.

Conclusions: In a pluralistic society like Israel with its diverse communities and dissimilar religious backgrounds and traditions, the different attitudes concerning utilization of the national program should be respected. It is necessary to tailor different approaches and solutions for the various ethnic and religious communities according to their need.

Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Naomi Bar-Joseph, MSc, Gad Rennert, MD, Ada Tamir, PhD, Liora Ore, MD and Gad Bar-Joseph, MD. IMAJ 2007: 8: August: 603-606

Background: In the western world, trauma is the leading cause of disability and mortality in the 1–39 years age group. Road accidents constitute the most frequent cause of mortality among children older than 1 year and falls from a height are the most frequent cause of injuries requiring hospitalization.

Objectives: To analyze the epidemiology and characteristics of severe pediatric trauma due to falls from a height in northern Israel. This analysis should aid in planning an effective intervention plan.

Methods: This observational study included all patients aged 0–14 who died or were admitted to an intensive care unit in northern Israel following a steep fall. Demographic and clinical data were collected retrospectively for 3 years and prospectively for 1 year.

Results: A total of 188 children were severely injured or died following such a fall, with an annual rate of 11.4 per 100,000 children. Over 85% of severe injuries due to falls occurred among non-Jewish children, with an incidence rate 6.36 times higher than among Jewish children (20.17 and 3.17 per 100,000 children, respectively). In the non-Jewish sector 93.7% of the falls occurred at or around the child’s home, mainly from staircases, balconies and roofs.

Conclusions: A very high incidence of severe trauma due to domestic falls from a height was found among non-Jewish children in northern Israel. Domestic falls represent an important epidemiological problem in the non-Jewish pediatric sector, and an effective prevention plan should include measures to modify parents’ attitudes towards safety issues and the creation of a safe domestic environment.

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