B. Zafrir, A. Laor and H. Bitterman
Background: Parallel to increased life expectancy, the number of very elderly patients hospitalized in internal medicine departments is growing rapidly, although clinical data on hospital care are lacking.
Objectives: To investigate the sociodemographic data, hospitalization characteristics and outcomes of nonagenarian patients, as these measures are necessary for evaluating prognostic information and predictors of mortality.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all patients aged ≥ 90 hospitalized in our institute's Department of Internal Medicine. The data comprised 482 admissions of 333 patients hospitalized over a one year period.
Results: Half of the study patients were residents of nursing institutions. A high rate of atrial fibrillation was documented (106 patients, 32%). Acute infectious diseases constituted the leading diagnosis (276/482 admissions, 57%), followed by acute coronary syndrome (17% of admissions). In-hospital mortality occurred in 74 patients (22%). Chronic therapy with statins or acetylsalicylic acid was inversely related to mortality (P < 0.05). The main predictors for in-hospital death of nonagenarians were pressure sores, older age, atrial fibrillation, malignant disease, and admission due to an acute infection, especially Clostridium difficile-associated diseases. In addition, mental decline, permanent urinary catheter, leukocytosis, renal failure and hypoalbuminemia predicted post-discharge mortality. Admission due to an infectious disease but not acute coronary syndrome was significantly correlated to in-hospital and post-discharge mortality (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Hospitalized nonagenarians comprise a growing group with distinct characteristics and increasing significance in the daily practice of internal medicine departments. Comprehensive assessment of the elderly at admission together with identification of the above clinical and laboratory risk factors for mortality will help determine in-hospital management, discharge planning and rehabilitation programs.
Y. Anekstein, Y. Smorgick, R. Lotan, G. Agar, E. Shalmon, Y. Floman and Y. Mirovsky
Background: Diabetes mellitus is a multi-organ disorder affecting many types of connective tissues, including bone and cartilage. Certain skeletal changes are more prevalent in diabetic patients than in non-diabetic individuals. A possible association of diabetes mellitus and lumbar spinal stenosis has been raised.
Objectives: To compare the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in patients with spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease or osteoporotic vertebral fractures.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was performed of 395 consecutive patients diagnosed with spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease or osteoporotic vertebral fractures. All the patients were examined by one senior author in the outpatient orthopedic clinic of a large general hospital between June 2004 and January 2006 and diagnosed as having either lumbar spinal stenosis (n=225), degenerative disk disease (n=124) or osteoporotic vertebral fractures (n=46).
Results: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in the three groups (spinal stenosis, osteoporotic fracture, degenerative disk disease) was 28%, 6.5% and 12.1%, respectively, revealing a significantly higher prevalence in the spinal stenosis group compared with the others (P = 0.001). The higher prevalence of diabetes in the stenotic patients was unrelated to the presence of degenerative spondylolisthesis.
Conclusions: There is an association between diabetes and lumbar spinal stenosis. Diabetes mellitus may be a predisposing factor for the development of lumbar spinal stenosis.
B. Boursi, H. Guzner-Gur, Y. Mashich, U. Miler, E. Gur, R. Inbar, A. Blachar, F. Sperber, S. Kleiman, A. Yafo, H. Elran, T. Sella, I. Naumov, D. Kazanov, S. Kraus, L. Galazan, N. Reshef, T. Sion-Tadmor, M. Rozen, E. Liberman, M. Moshkowitz and N. Arber
Background: Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. The most effective way to combat cancer is by prevention and early detection.
Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of screening an asymptomatic population for the presence of benign and neoplastic lesions.
Methods: Routine screening tests for prevention and/or early detection of 11 common cancers were conducted in 300 consecutive asymptomatic, apparently healthy adults, aged 25–77 years. Other tests were performed as indicated.
Results: Malignant and benign lesions were found in 3.3% and 5% of the screenees, respectively, compared to 1.7% in the general population. The most common lesions were in the gastrointestinal tract followed by skin, urogenital tract and breast. Advanced age and a family history of a malignancy were associated with increased risk for cancer with an odds ratio of 9 and 3.5, respectively (95% confidence interval 1.1–71 and 0.9–13, respectively). Moreover, high serum C-reactive protein levels and polymorphisms in the APC and CD24 genes indicated high cancer risk. When two of the polymorphisms existed in an individual, the risk for a malignant lesion was extremely high (23.1%; OR 14, 95% CI 2.5–78).
Conclusions: Screening asymptomatic subjects identifies a significant number of neoplastic lesions at an early stage. Incorporating data on genetic polymorphisms in the APC and CD24 genes can further identify individuals who are at increased risk for cancer. Cancer can be prevented and/or diagnosed at an early stage using the screening facilities of a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic.
D. Alperovitch-Najenson, Y. Santo, Y. Masharawi, M. Katz-Leurer, D. Ushvaev and L. Kalichman
Background: Professional drivers have been found to be at high risk for developing low back pain. However, the exact reasons are poorly understood.
Objectives: To assess the prevalence of LBP among Israeli professional urban bus drivers, and evaluate the association between LBP in drivers and work-related psychosocial and ergonomic risk factors.
Methods: A total of 384 male full-time urban bus drivers were consecutively enrolled to this cross-sectional study. Information on regular physical activity and work-related ergonomic and psychosocial stressing factors was collected during face-to-face interviews. The prevalence of LBP was assessed using the Standardized Nordic Questionnaire.
Results: From the total cohort, 164 bus drivers (45.4%) reported experiencing LBP in the previous 12 months. Ergonomic factors associated with LBP were uncomfortable seat (odds ratio 2.6, 95% confidence interval 1.4–5.0) and an uncomfortable back support (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4–4.5). In the group of drivers with LBP, 48.5% reported participation in regular physical activities vs. 67.3% in the group without LBP (P < 0.01). The following psychosocial stressing factors showed significant association with LBP: “limited rest period during a working day” (1.6, 1.0–2.6), “traffic congestion on the bus route” (1.8, 1.2–2.7), “lack of accessibility to the bus stop for the descending and ascending of passengers” (1.5, 1.0–1.5), and “passengers' hostility” (1.8, 1.1–2.9).
Conclusions: Work-related ergonomic and psychosocial factors showed a significant association with LBP in Israeli professional urban bus drivers. Prevention of work-related stress, organizational changes targeted to reduce stressful situations, improvement in seat comfort, and encouraging regular sports activity need to be evaluated as prevention strategies for LBP in professional bus drivers.
R. Masalha, E. Kordysh, G.. Alpert, M. Hallak, M. Morad, M. Mahajnah, P. Farkas and Y. Herishanu
Background: The prevalence of Parkinson's disease varies among ethnic and geographic groups around the world, being very low in China and high in Argentina. While the main etiology of the disease has yet to be determined, environmental, occupational and genetic factors seem to play important roles.
Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of PD in an Arab Muslim population in Israel, using the drug tracer approach.
Methods: We studied a Muslim Arab population living in a well-defined geographic area in Israel, with the majority located in two towns and two large villages. Of the approximately 115,000 residents, about 38% are under the age of 15 and 7.75% are older than 65. Drug tracer methodology was applied in this study. All those who were on anti-PD medication were identified and examined by a neurologist to confirm the diagnosis.
Results: The overall crude prevalence of PD in this population was low, 43.24/100,000, while the prevalence in the age group above 65 years was 477.32/100,000. Below this age, the prevalence was very low, 12.29/100,000. PD prevalence was higher in males than in females (ratio 1.17); 63% of male patients smoked cigarettes. The prevalence was found to be twice as high among the residents of rural areas, where most inhabitants work in agriculture.
Conclusions: The prevalence of PD among the Arab population in Israel is considered low and comparable to that reported in other Arab countries.
M. Godfrey, M.S. Schimmel, C. Hammerman, B. Farber, J. Glaser and A. Nir
Background: The incidence of congenital heart defects, reported to be 5–8/1000 in term infants, is not well established in very low birth weight infants.
Objectives: To establish the incidence of congenital heart defects in VLBW infants in the neonatal intensive care unit of our institution.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of the population in the NICU at our institution was performed. VLBW (BW ≤ 1500 g) infants born between 2001 and 2006 who survived more than 48 hours were included in the study. Infants with clinical signs of heart disease underwent echocardiography.
Results: During the study period 437 VLBW live-born infants met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 281 (64.3 %) underwent echocardiography. CHD was detected in 19 infants (4.4%, 95% confidence interval 2.4–5.4%), significantly higher than the incidence of 5–8/1000 in the general population (P < 0.0001). In the subgroup of 154 infants with BW < 1000 g there were 10 (6.5%) with CHD. In the subgroup of 283 infants with BW 100–-1500 g there were 9 (3.2 %, P = 0.19 vs. VLBW) with CHD.
Conclusions: Our observations show an increased incidence of CHD in VLBW neonates, as compared to the general population. Since not all infants underwent echocardiography, and minor cardiac defects may have been missed in our VLBW infants, the true incidence may be higher than reported here.
E. Bilavsky, H. Yarden-Bilavsky D.S. Shouval, N. Fisch, B-Z. Garty, S. Ashkenazi and J. Amir
Background: Secondary thrombocytosis is associated with a variety of clinical conditions, one of which is lower respiratory tract infection. However, reports on thrombocytosis induced by viral infections are scarce.
Objectives: To assess the rate of thrombocytosis (platelet count > 500 x 109/L) in hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis and to investigate its potential role as an early marker of respiratory syncytial virus infection.
Methods: Clinical data on 469 infants aged ≤ 4 months who were hospitalized for bronchiolitis were collected prospectively and compared between RSV-positive and RSV-negative infants.
Results: The rate of thrombocytosis was significantly higher in RSV-positive than RSV-negative infants (41.3% vs. 29.2%, P = 0.031). The odds ratio of an infant with bronchiolitis and thrombocytosis to have a positive RSV infection compared to an infant with bronchiolitis and a normal platelet count was 1.7 (P = 0.023, 95% confidence interval 1.07–2.72). There was no significant difference in mean platelet count between the two groups.
Conclusions: RSV-positive bronchiolitis in hospitalized young infants is associated with thrombocytosis.