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1.
PLoS Med ; 19(8): e1004079, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2039246

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The influence of urbanicity on hypertension prevalence remains poorly understood. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the difference in hypertension prevalence between urban and rural areas in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the most pronounced urbanisation is underway. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Embase, from 01/01/1990 to 10/03/2022. We included population-based studies with ≥400 participants 15 years and older, selected by using a valid sampling technique, from LMICs that reported the urban-rural difference in hypertension prevalence using similar blood pressure measurements. We excluded abstracts, reviews, non-English studies, and those with exclusively self-reported hypertension prevalence. Study selection, quality assessment, and data extraction were performed by 2 independent reviewers following a standardised protocol. Our primary outcome was the urban minus rural prevalence of hypertension. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure as ≥90 mm Hg and could include use of antihypertensive medication, self-reported diagnosis, or both. We investigated heterogeneity using study-level and socioeconomic country-level indicators. We conducted meta-analysis and meta-regression using random-effects models. This systematic review and meta-analysis has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018091671). We included 299 surveys from 66 LMICs, including 19,770,946 participants (mean age 45.4 ± SD = 9 years, 53.0% females and 63.1% from rural areas). The pooled prevalence of hypertension was 30.5% (95% CI, 28.9, 32.0) in urban areas and 27.9% (95% CI, 26.3, 29.6) in rural areas, resulting in a pooled urban-rural difference of 2.45% (95% CI, 1.57, 3.33, I-square: 99.71%, tau-square: 0.00524, Pheterogeneity < 0.001). Hypertension prevalence increased over time and the rate of change was greater in rural compared to urban areas, resulting in a pooled urban-rural difference of 5.75% (95% CI, 4.02, 7.48) in the period 1990 to 2004 and 1.38% (95% CI, 0.40, 2.37) in the period 2005 to 2020, p < 0.001 for time period. We observed substantial heterogeneity in the urban-rural difference of hypertension, which was partially explained by urban-rural definition, probably high risk of bias in sampling, country income status, region, and socioeconomic indicators. The urban-rural difference was 5.67% (95% CI, 4.22, 7.13) in low, 2.74% (95% CI, 1.41, 4.07) in lower-middle and -1.22% (95% CI, -2.73, 0.28) in upper-middle-income countries in the period 1990 to 2020, p < 0.001 for country income. The urban-rural difference was highest for South Asia (7.50%, 95% CI, 5.73, 9.26), followed by sub-Saharan Africa (4.24%, 95% CI, 2.62, 5.86) and reversed for Europe and Central Asia (-6.04%, 95% CI, -9.06, -3.01), in the period 1990 to 2020, p < 0.001 for region. Finally, the urban-rural difference in hypertension prevalence decreased nonlinearly with improvements in Human Development Index and infant mortality rate. Limitations included lack of data available from all LMICs and variability in urban and rural definitions in the literature. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of hypertension in LMICs increased between 1990 and 2020 in both urban and rural areas, but with a stronger trend in rural areas. The urban minus rural hypertension difference decreased with time, and with country-level socioeconomic development. Focused action, particularly in rural areas, is needed to tackle the burden of hypertension in LMICs.


Subject(s)
Developing Countries , Hypertension , Blood Pressure , Female , Humans , Hypertension/drug therapy , Hypertension/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Rural Population
2.
Epidemiol Prev ; 46(4): 59-69, 2022.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1955239

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to quantify the variability of COVID-19 mortality from the beginning of the pandemic to mid-July 2021, in relation to the immigrant status and by Region and period. DESIGN: observational incidence study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: the study population consists of the residents at the beginning of 2020 in seven Regions (Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Sicily) aged <=74 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: absolute frequency of deaths occurred in subjects who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, crude and standardized rates (standard: Italian population at the beginning of 2020), and mortality rates ratios (obtained using Poisson models), by immigrant status and stratified by gender, Region of residence, and period. The study period was divided into 5 subperiods: 22.02.2020-25.05.2020, 26.05.2020-02.10.2020, 03.10.2020-26.02.2021, 27.02.2021-16.07.2021. RESULTS: the study includes more than one half of the Italian population and most of the immigrants residing in the country, who are younger than Italians and experienced fewer COVID-19 deaths. Deaths among those who tested positive varied greatly between Regions and periods; standardized rates showed considerable increases over time among immigrants. In terms of rate ratios, there were excesses among immigrant males in the third period (MRR: 1.46; 95%CI 1.30-1.65) and in the fourth period (MRR: 1.55; 95%CI 1, 34-1.81). Among immigrant females, there is an indication of lower risk in the third period (MRR: 0.79; 95%CI 0.65-0.97) and of greater risk in the fourth period (MRR: 1. 46; 95%CI 1.21-1.77). Finally, the effect is modified by the Region of residence, both in the third and in the fourth period for males and only in the fourth period for females. CONCLUSIONS: the risk of premature mortality due to COVID-19 is linked to immigrant status and with an intensity that varies by gender, Region, and period. More accessible tools for prevention, diagnosis and early healthcare can support immigrant communities in managing the risk factors linked to the spread of infections and, in particular, counteract their evolution into more severe disease outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emigrants and Immigrants , Citizenship , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sicily
3.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 2022 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846533

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The pandemic may undermine the equity of access to and utilisation of health services for conditions other than COVID-19. The objective of the study is to evaluate the indirect impact of COVID-19 and lockdown measures on sociodemographic inequalities in healthcare utilisation in seven Italian areas. METHODS: In this multicentre retrospective study, we evaluated whether COVID-19 modified the association between educational level or deprivation and indicators of hospital utilisation and quality of care. We also assessed variations in gradients by sex and age class. We estimated age-standardised rates and prevalence and their relative per cent changes comparing pandemic (2020) and pre-pandemic (2018-2019) periods, and the Relative Index of Inequalities (RIIs) fitting multivariable Poisson models with an interaction between socioeconomic position and period. RESULTS: Compared with 2018-2019, hospital utilisation and, to a lesser extent, timeliness of procedures indicators fell during the first months of 2020. Larger declines were registered among women, the elderly and the low educated resulting in a shrinkage (or widening if RII <1) of the educational gradients for most of the indicators. Timeliness of procedures indicators did not show any educational gradient neither before nor during the pandemic. Inequalities by deprivation were nuanced and did not substantially change in 2020. CONCLUSIONS: The socially patterned reduction of hospital utilisation may lead to a potential exacerbation of health inequalities among groups who were already vulnerable before the pandemic. The healthcare service can contribute to contrast health disparities worsened by COVID-19 through more efficient communication and locally appropriate interventions.

4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572486

ABSTRACT

In 2020, the number of deaths increased in Italy, mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic; mortality was among the highest in Europe, with a clear heterogeneity among regions and socio-demographic strata. The present work aims to describe trends in mortality and to quantify excess mortality variability over time and in relation to demographics, pre-existent chronic conditions and care setting of the Emilia-Romagna region (Northern Italy). This is a registry-based cross-sectional study comparing the 2020 observed mortality with figures of the previous five years by age, sex, month, place of death, and chronicity. It includes 300,094 deaths in those 18 years of age and above resident in the Emilia-Romagna region. Excess deaths were higher during the first pandemic wave, particularly among men and in March. Age-adjusted risk was similar among both men and women (Mortality Rate Ratio 1.15; IC95% 1.14-1.16). It was higher among females aged 75+ years and varied between sub-periods. Excluding COVID-19 related deaths, differences in the risk of dying estimates tended to disappear. Metabolic and neuropsychiatric diseases were more prevalent among those that deceased in 2020 compared to the deaths that occurred in 2015-2019 and therefore can be confirmed as elements of increased frailty, such as being in long-term care facilities or private homes as the place of death. Understanding the impact of the pandemic on mortality considering frailties is relevant in a changing scenario.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Mortality , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21526, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500514

ABSTRACT

Earlier in 2020, seven Italian regions, which cover 62% of the Italian population, set up the Mimico-19 network to monitor the side effects of the restrictive measures against Covid-19 on volumes and quality of care. To this aim, we retrospectively analysed hospital discharges data, computing twelve indicators of volume and performance in three clinical areas: cardiology, oncology, and orthopaedics. Weekly indicators for the period January-July 2020 were compared with the corresponding average for 2018-2019; comparisons were performed within 3 sub-periods: pre-lockdown, lockdown, and post-lockdown. The weekly trend of hospitalisations for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) showed a 40% reduction, but the proportion of STEMI patients with a primary PTCA did not significantly change from previous years. Malignant neoplasms surgery volumes differed substantially by site, with a limited reduction for lung cancer (< 20%) and greater declines (30-40%) for breast and prostate cancers. The percentage of timely surgery for femoral neck in the elderly remained constantly higher than the previous 2 years whereas hip and knee replacements fell dramatically. Hospitalisations have generally decreased, but the capacity of a timely and effective response in time-dependent pathways of care was not jeopardized throughout the period. General trends did not show important differences across regions, regardless of the different burden of Covid-19. Preventive and primary care services should adopt a pro-active approach, moving towards the identification of at-risk conditions that were neglected during the pandemic and timely addressing patients to the secondary care system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip/statistics & numerical data , Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/statistics & numerical data , Breast Neoplasms/pathology , Breast Neoplasms/surgery , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Female , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Italy , Lung Neoplasms/pathology , Lung Neoplasms/surgery , Male , Prostatic Neoplasms/pathology , Prostatic Neoplasms/surgery , Quarantine , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction/pathology , ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction/therapy
6.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 288-296, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068150

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to provide a description of inequalities in overall and COVID-19 mortality by ecological socioeconomic measures (ESEMs) during the first outbreak peak (March and April 2020) in Emilia-Romagna Region. DESIGN: cross-sectional study based on the record linkage of the COVID-19 notification system, the regional population health register and the 2011 census data. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: residents in Emilia-Romagna who were grouped according to three ESEMs calculated at census block level: the index of deprivation, the household crowding, and the percentage of the foreign resident population. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: counts of all deaths and those directly attributable to COVID-19. The association between mortality and ESEMs was assessed through rate differences and mortality rate ratios, estimated through Poisson models. RESULTS: during the outbreak peak, the nine provinces of the Emilia-Romagna Region were unequally hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, with Piacenza recording the highest COVID-19 absolute death toll and Ferrara the lowest. The overall and COVID-19 mortality burden was unequal also in terms of ecological socioeconomic measures. Percentage differences in the age-standardised mortality rates between the least and the most disadvantaged census blocks were greater for COVID-19 mortality than for overall mortality, suggesting that the Coronavirus outbreak has had a stronger impact on the most socioeconomically deprived areas. Although clear gradients were not always present, people living in the most disadvantaged census blocks experienced the highest absolute and relative risk of dying. Rate differences were larger among men, but mortality rate ratios were not always greater among men than women, especially for the COVID-19 mortality. CONCLUSIONS: these descriptive yet informative results are relevant to document inequalities and inform regional public health policies and interventions in case of new COVID-19 surges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Mortality/trends , Pandemics , Poverty Areas , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Crowding , Emigrants and Immigrants/statistics & numerical data , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
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