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Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409514


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in December 2020, the Italian government established a second home confinement during the Christmas holidays. These restrictions offered the opportunity to utilize a well-defined model for observing the consequences of lifestyle changes of healthy individuals. This study aimed at estimating in healthy subjects from Southern Italy the physical activity (PA), the presence and the severity of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, and the association between the possible worsening of GI health status and the PA levels. An adapted version of the International PA Questionnaire-short form (IPAQ-SF) and the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) were proposed through Google's online survey platform in three different periods via WhatsAppTM to 499 healthy subjects (62% females) from Apulia (25%), Calabria (37%), and Campania (38%). Our results showed statistically significant changes during the home confinement: reduced energy expenditure (EE) among overweight subjects (-239.82, 95%CI -405.74; -73.89) or those who had high GSRS total score (-1079.54, 95%CI -2027.43; -131.66). An increase in GSRS total score was observed in overweight subjects, reaching statistical significance in those from Campania. Our study supports the importance of PA to reduce health risks, including those related to the possible onset of GI tract diseases.

COVID-19 , Exercise , Female , Gastrointestinal Tract , Health Status , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
J Sports Med Phys Fitness ; 61(2): 294-300, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1106688


BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian government took security measures to try to limit infections. Restrictive measures included social distancing, home confinement and the closure of all public structures like gyms and swimming pools. The impact of these limitations on health and lifestyle was inevitably negative. The purpose of this study was to establish the level of physical activity (PA), expressed as energy expenditure (MET-minute/week) in a Southern Italian population before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. METHODS: An adapted version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-short form (IPAQ-SF) was published on the official website of the National Institute of Gastroenterology IRCCS S. de Bellis, Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy and on several social media in May 2020. RESULTS: Three hundred ten replies (72% women) from Apulia (60%), Calabria (28%), Campania (11%) and Sicily (1%) were included in the study. The COVID-19 lockdown had a negative effect on the vigorous PA intensity level and on walking, but not on the moderate PA intensity level. Additionally, daily time spent sitting down increased by more than 12% during the COVID-19 lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: Isolation changed PA behaviors. The decreased energy expenditure (MET-minute/week) during the lockdown had a negative impact in both genders, especially on the young adults and adults' groups.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Exercise , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Energy Metabolism , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sitting Position , Surveys and Questionnaires , Walking
J Immunother Cancer ; 8(2)2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-713881


BACKGROUND: The inflammatory pathology observed in severe COVID-19 disease caused by the 2019 novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is characterized by elevated serum levels of C reactive protein (CRP) and cytokines, including interferon gamma, interleukin 8 (IL-8), and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Initial reports from the outbreak in Italy, China and the USA have provided anecdotal evidence of improved outcomes with the administration of anti-IL-6 agents, and large-scale trials evaluating these therapies are ongoing. STUDY DESCRIPTION: In this retrospective case series, clinical outcomes and correlates of response to treatment with the IL-6 receptor antagonist sarilumab are described for 15 patients with COVID-19 from a single institution in Southern Italy. Among 10 patients whose symptoms improved after sarilumab treatment, rapid decreases in CRP levels corresponded with clinical improvement. Lower levels of IL-6 at baseline as well as lower neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio as compared with patients whose COVID-19 did not improve with treatment were associated with sarilumab-responsive disease. CONCLUSIONS: This observation may reflect a possible clinical benefit regarding early intervention with IL-6-modulatory therapies for COVID-19 and that CRP could be a potential biomarker of response to treatment.

Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Biomarkers, Pharmacological/blood , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interleukin-6/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Female , Humans , Italy , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome