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Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 353-362, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068158


OBJECTIVES: to study the impact of social isolation, related to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, on lifestyles in Italy, with particular reference to physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, and eating habits. Moreover, to investigate the association between lifestyle changes during the pandemic and sociodemographic characteristics. DESIGN: epidemiological investigation based on a cross-sectional study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: between April 21st and June 7th 2020, an electronic questionnaire to collect information on physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, and eating habits during the period of home containment was made available on the web. Respondents were recruited through non-probabilistic snowball sampling. The link to the electronic questionnaire was disseminated through institutional websites, social networks (Facebook, Twitter), and messaging systems such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and SMS. A total of 10,758 interviews were collected, of which 7,847 (73%) were complete for a minimum set of indicators (age, gender, and area of residence). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: reduction of physical activity, increase in alcohol consumption, increase in cigarette smoking, increase in consumption of unhealthy foods (processed meat, red meat or desserts) without increasing healthy foods (vegetables, legumes or whole grains) and, vice versa, increase in consumption of healthy foods without increasing unhealthy foods. RESULTS: the population under study consists of 7,847 people with a mean age of 48.6 years (standard deviation: 13.9). Most of respondents are women (71.3%), 92.5% have a high school or university degree and 91% live in Northern Italy. During home containment, 56% of interviewees reported they had reduced the time devoted to physical activity. In particular, this happened among older people and those living in large cities. More than 17% of respondents increased their alcohol consumption, especially men, those highly educated and those living in large urban centres. Older age and residence in the Southern Italy represent, instead, protective factors for this outcome. Among smokers, 30% increased cigarette consumption during the period of home containment, on average of 5.6 cigarettes per day. A small proportion of former smokers (0.6%) resumed smoking. With regard to eating habits, 3 out of 10 respondents (29.9%) reported an inappropriate eating behaviour (increasing unhealthy food without increasing healthy ones). This behaviour was less frequent among men (adjusted Prevalence Ratio 0.80, p=0.005). A lower percentage of respondents (24.5%) increased the consumption of healthy foods without increasing the consumption of unhealthy ones. CONCLUSIONS: the results of this survey show that social isolation during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had an impact on citizens' behaviours. In particular, it was found a noteworthy increase in sedentariness, alcohol consumption, and tobacco smoking. A meaningful proportion of respondents reported a worsening of eating habits, especially among women. However, for each of the behavioural risk factors investigated, small proportions of respondents with resilient attitudes were also found, namely, capable of taking advantage of social isolation for improving their daily habits. Studying changes in lifestyles during a pandemic, identifying population groups most at risk of adopting unfavourable behaviours, is a useful tool for policy makers to plan targeted and effective public health interventions.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Life Style , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diet, Healthy , Energy Intake , Exercise , Feeding Behavior , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Sedentary Behavior , Smoking/epidemiology , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vulnerable Populations , Young Adult
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 344-352, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068157


OBJECTIVES: to describe the course of Italian organized cancer screening programmes during the COVID-19 emergency; to provide estimates of the diagnosis of malignant or pre-malignant lesions that will face a diagnostic delay due to the slowing down of screening activities. DESIGN: quantitative survey of aggregated data for each Region and overall for Italy relating to screening tests carried out in the period January-May 2020 compared to those of the same period of 2019; estimate of diagnostic delays starting from the calculation of the average detection rate of the last 3 years available (specific by Region). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Italian mass screening programmes. Data on the tests carried out in the target population of the breast (women 50-69 years old), cervix (women 25-64 years old), and colorectal (women and men 50-69 years old) cancer screening. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: the cumulative delay (in absolute numbers and as a percentage) in the period January-May 2020 compared to the same period of 2019, by Region; the difference of screening tests (in absolute number and in percentage) performed in May 2020 compared to May 2019; the estimate of the fewer lesions diagnosed in 2020 compared with 2019 with relative 95% confidence intervals (95%CI); the 'standard months' of delay (proportion of fewer tests carried out from January to May 2020 for the corresponding number of months). RESULTS: 20 Regions out of 21 participated. In the period January-May 2020, the fewer screening tests performed in comparison with the same period of 2019 were: 472,389 (equal to 53.8%) with an average delay of standard months of 2.7 for mammography screening; 585,287 (equal to 54.9%) with an average delay of standard months of 2.7 for colorectal screening; 371,273 (equal to 55.3%) with an average delay of 2.8 standard months for cervical screening. The estimated number of undiagnosed lesions is 2,201 (95%CI 2,173-2,220) breast cancers; 645 (95%CI 632-661) colorectal carcinomas; 3,890 (95%CI 3,855-3,924) advanced colorectal adenomas and 1,497 (95%CI 1,413-1,586) CIN2 or more serious lesions. CONCLUSIONS: mass screenings need to be restarted as quickly as possible. In order to make up for the delay that is accumulating, it is necessary to provide for wider delivery times, greater resources, and new organizational approaches. It will also be essential to develop communication strategies suitable for promoting participation during this emergency.

Appointments and Schedules , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Delayed Diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Pandemics , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Delayed Diagnosis/statistics & numerical data , Early Detection of Cancer/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Care Surveys , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mammography/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Procedures and Techniques Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology