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1.
Tob Control ; 2022 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2064283

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Debate continues about whether electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and heated tobacco products (HTP) reduce or increase the probability of smoking, with many studies compromised by stated or unstated conflicts of interest. We undertook a longitudinal study in Italy. METHODS: 3185 Italian participants aged 18-74 years provided baseline (April-May) and follow-up (November-December) responses in 2020, reporting smoking status and use of e-cigarettes and HTP. We tracked transitions over that period and reported risk ratios (RR) and corresponding 95% CIs for changes in smoking in relation to baseline use of e-cigarettes and HTPs. RESULTS: Never cigarette smokers who used e-cigarettes at baseline were much more likely to start smoking (compared with never users, RR 8.78; 95% CI: 5.65 to 13.65) and current HTP users (RR 5.80; 95% CI: 3.65 to 9.20). Among ex-smokers, relapse (17.2%) at follow-up was more likely among e-cigarette (RR 4.25; 95% CI: 2.40 to 7.52) and HTP users (RR 3.32; 95% CI: 2.05 to 5.37). Among current smokers at baseline, those who had continued smoking at follow-up were 85.4% overall. These were more frequently current novel product users (compared with non-users, RR 1.10; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.19 for e-cigarette users; RR 1.17; 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.23 for HTP users). CONCLUSIONS: Both e-cigarette and HTP use predict starting smoking and relapse, and appear to reduce smoking cessation. Due to the limited sample size within specific strata, the association with quitting smoking should be confirmed by larger prospective studies. These findings do not support the use of e-cigarettes and HTPs in tobacco control as a consumer product, at least in Italy.

2.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 2022 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038022

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: School closures and distance learning have been extensively adopted to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the contribution of school transmission to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains poorly quantified. METHODS: We analyzed transmission patterns associated with 976 SARS-CoV-2 exposure events, involving 460 positive individuals, as identified in early 2021 through routine surveillance and an extensive screening conducted on students, school personnel, and their household members in a small Italian municipality. In addition to population screenings and contact-tracing operations, reactive closures of class and schools were implemented. RESULTS: From the analysis of 152 clear infection episodes and 584 exposure events identified by epidemiological investigations, we estimated that approximately 50%, 21%, and 29% of SARS-CoV-2 transmission was associated with household, school, and community contacts, respectively. We found substantial transmission heterogeneities, with 20% positive individuals causing 75% to 80% of ascertained infection episodes. A higher proportion of infected individuals causing onward transmission was found among students (46.2% vs. 25%, on average), who also caused a markedly higher number of secondary cases (mean: 1.03 vs. 0.35). By reconstructing likely transmission chains from the entire set of exposures identified during contact-tracing operations, we found that clusters originated from students or school personnel were associated with a larger average cluster size (3.32 vs. 1.15) and a larger average number of generations in the transmission chain (1.56 vs. 1.17). CONCLUSIONS: Uncontrolled SARS-CoV-2 transmission at school could disrupt the regular conduct of teaching activities, likely seeding the transmission into other settings, and increasing the burden on contact-tracing operations.

3.
Preventive medicine ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2033941

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare services, including cervical cancer management, and an increased burden for this condition is expected. This systematic review synthetizes the available evidence on the impact of the pandemic on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer. Searches were performed on PubMed, Embase, and Scopus for relevant studies on these topics with the purpose of comparing service access and care delivery before and during COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the methodological heterogeneity among the studies, findings were narratively discussed. Of the 715 screened titles and s, 33 articles were included, corresponding to 42 reports that covered the outcomes of interest: vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) (6 reports), cancer screening (19), diagnosis (8), and treatment (8). Seven studies observed reductions in HPV vaccination uptake and coverage during COVID-19. Reports on cervical screening and cancer diagnosis activities showed a substantial impact of the pandemic on access to screening services and diagnostic procedures. All but one study that investigated cervical cancer treatment reported changes in the number of women with cervical lesions who received treatments, as well as treatment delay and interruption. With a major impact during the first wave in 2020, COVID-19 and restriction measures resulted in a substantial disruption in cervical cancer prevention and management, with declines in screening and delays in treatment. Taken together, findings from this systematic review calls for urgent policy interventions for recovering cervical cancer prevention and care.

4.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 14: 100316, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1663754

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital health technologies and the role of effective surveillance systems. While recent events have accelerated progress towards the expansion of digital public health (DPH), there remains significant untapped potential in harnessing, leveraging, and repurposing digital technologies for public health. There is a particularly growing need for comprehensive action to prepare citizens for DPH, to regulate and effectively evaluate DPH, and adopt DPH strategies as part of health policy and services to optimise health systems improvement. As representatives of the European Public Health Association's (EUPHA) Digital Health Section, we reflect on the current state of DPH, share our understanding at the European level, and determine how the application of DPH has developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also discuss the opportunities, challenges, and implications of the increasing digitalisation of public health in Europe.

5.
Int J Infect Dis ; 122: 420-426, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2015419

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We compared the characteristics and outcomes of vaccinated and nonvaccinated patients hospitalized with COVID-19. DESIGN: We analyzed patients hospitalized in a COVID hub during three one-month periods: (i) October 15, 2020-November 15, 2020 (prevaccination peak); (ii) October 15, 2021-November 15, 2021 (Delta wave); (iii) December 15, 2021-January 15, 2022 (Omicron wave). To define the epidemiologic context, SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers was analyzed. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 infection incidence in healthcare workers was 146 cases per 1000 persons in 2020 (prevaccination) and 67 in 2021 (postvaccination, when the Omicron variant caused most infections). There were 420 hospitalized patients in the prevaccination period, 51 during the Delta wave (52.1% vaccinated) and 165 during the Omicron wave (52.9% vaccinated). During the Delta wave, a significantly higher number of nonvaccinated (29.2%) than vaccinated patients (3.7%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (p = 0.019). Nonvaccinated patients were younger and had a lower rate of concomitant medical conditions (53.2% vs 83.7%; p < 0.001) during the Omicron wave when 80% of patients admitted to ICU and all those who died were still infected by the Delta variant. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccine effectiveness in fragile individuals appears to be lower because of a faster immunity decline. However, the Omicron variant seems to cause less severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(18)2022 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010090

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionally affected older people in terms of clinical outcomes and care provision. We aimed to investigate older adults' changes in access to care during the pandemic and their determinants. We used data from a cross-sectional study (LOST in Lombardia) conducted in autumn 2020 on a representative sample of 4400 older adults from the most populated region in Italy. Lifestyles, mental health, and access to healthcare services before and during the pandemic were collected. To identify factors associated with care delays, reduction in emergency department (ED) access, and hospitalisations, we estimated prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using multivariable log-binomial regression models. During the pandemic, compared to the year before, 21.5% of the study population increased telephone contacts with the general practitioner (GP) and 9.6% increased self-pay visits, while 22.4% decreased GP visits, 12.3% decreased outpatient visits, 9.1% decreased diagnostic exams, 7.5% decreased ED access, and 6% decreased hospitalisations. The prevalence of care delays due to patient's decision (overall 23.8%) was higher among men (PR 1.16, 95% CI 1.05-1.29), subjects aged 75 years or more (PR 1.12, 95% CI 1.00-1.25), and those with a higher economic status (p for trend < 0.001). Participants with comorbidities more frequently cancelled visits and reduced ED access or hospitalisations, while individuals with worsened mental health status reported a higher prevalence of care delays and ED access reductions. Access to care decreased in selected sub-groups of older adults during the pandemic with likely negative impacts on mortality and morbidity in the short and long run.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Life Style , Male , Pandemics
7.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 13704, 2022 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991666

ABSTRACT

Healthcare delivery reorganization during the COVID-19 emergency may have had a significant impact on access to care for older adults with chronic conditions. We investigated such impact among all adults with chronic conditions aged ≥ 65 years, identified through the electronic health databases of two local health agencies-ATS Brianza and ATS Bergamo-from the Lombardy region, Italy. We considered hospitalizations for 2020 compared to the average 2017-2019 and quantified differences using rate ratios (RRs). Overall, in 2017-2019 there were a mean of 374,855 older adults with  ≥ 1 chronic condition per year in the two ATS and 405,371 in 2020. Hospitalizations significantly decreased from 84,624 (225.8/1000) in 2017-2019 to 78,345 (193.3/1000) in 2020 (RR 0.86). Declines were reported in individuals with many chronic conditions and for most Major Diagnostic Categories, except for diseases of the respiratory system. The strongest reductions were observed in hospitalizations for individuals with active tumours, particularly for surgical ones. Hospitalization rates increased in individuals with diabetes, likely due to COVID-19-related diseases. Although determinants of the decrease in demand and supply for care among chronic older adults are to be further explored, this raises awareness on their impacts on chronic patients' health in the medium and long run.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chronic Disease , Databases, Factual , Delivery of Health Care , Hospitalization , Humans
8.
Acta Biomed ; 93(3): e2022262, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1955331

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: On January 9, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Chinese health authorities had identified a new coronavirus strain never before isolated in humans, the 2019-nCoV later redefined SARS-CoV-2, that still today represent a public health problem. The present survey started on 10 February 2020 with the aim of a) assessing the risk perception in healthcare workers and young students, following the evolution of attitudes, perception and knowledge over time, b) provide useful information to the general population during survey. RESULTS: A study sample consisting of 4116 Italian individuals of both sexes was enrolled. High levels of risk perception, low perception of self-efficacy and low levels of knowledge scores (24.55 ± 5.76 SD) were obtained indicating the need for continuous population monitoring as well as further communication strategies carried out at institution levels. CONCLUSION: The results of the present study could help public health authorities in carrying out informative campaigns for general population and could be an important tool in evaluating public knowledge and misperceptions during the management of the COVID-19. (www.actabiomedica.it).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Attitude , Female , Humans , Male , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Int J Public Health ; 67: 1604427, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933936

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To describe the monthly distribution of COVID-19 hospitalisations, deaths and case-fatality rates (CFR) in Lombardy (Italy) throughout 2020. Methods: We analysed de-identified hospitalisation data comprising all COVID-19-related admissions from 1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020. The overall survival (OS) from time of first hospitalisation was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. We estimated monthly CFRs and performed Cox regression models to measure the effects of potential predictors on OS. Results: Hospitalisation and death peaks occurred in March and November 2020. Patients aged ≥70 years had an up to 180 times higher risk of dying compared to younger patients [70-80: HR 58.10 (39.14-86.22); 80-90: 106.68 (71.01-160.27); ≥90: 180.96 (118.80-275.64)]. Risk of death was higher in patients with one or more comorbidities [1: HR 1.27 (95% CI 1.20-1.35); 2: 1.44 (1.33-1.55); ≥3: 1.73 (1.58-1.90)] and in those with specific conditions (hypertension, diabetes). Conclusion: Our data sheds light on the Italian pandemic scenario, uncovering mechanisms and gaps at regional health system level and, on a larger scale, adding to the body of knowledge needed to inform effective health service planning, delivery, and preparedness in times of crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(13)2022 07 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917480

ABSTRACT

During the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 400 million cases all over the world have been identified. Health care workers were among the first to deal with this virus and consequently a high incidence of infection was reported in this population. The aim of the survey was to investigate health care workers' (HCWs) clinical characteristics and potential risk factors associated with the SARS-CoV-2 infection in a referral hospital in Northern Italy after the first and second waves of the pandemic. We administered a questionnaire during the flu vaccination campaign that took place at the end of 2020; among 1386 vaccinated HCWs, data was collected and analyzed for 1065 subjects. 182 HCWs (17%) declared that they had tested positive on at least a molecular or a serological test since the beginning of the pandemic. Comparing the infected vs. not infected HCWs, median age, BMI, smoking habit, presence of hypertension or other comorbidities were not significantly different, while having worked in a COVID ward was associated with the infection (ORadj = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.07-2.20). Respondents declared that more than 70% of contacts occurred in the hospital with patients or colleagues, while about 15% in domestic environments. Among the infected, the most reported symptoms were fever (62.1%), asthenia (60.3%), anosmia/ageusia (53.5%), arthralgia/myalgia (48.3%), headache or other neurological symptoms (46.6%), cough (43.1%) and flu-like syndrome (41.4%). The percentage of subjects who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 seems to be higher in HCWs than in the general population; hence, in hospitals, protective measures and preventive strategies to avoid the spreading of the contagion remain crucial.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
11.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911703

ABSTRACT

Most COVID-19 fatalities have occurred among older adults; however, evidence regarding the determinants of SARS-CoV-2 infection in this population is limited. Telephone interviews were conducted in November 2020 with a representative sample of 4400 Italians aged ≥65 years from the Lombardy region. We determined the prevalence of a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Through unconditional multiple logistic regression models, we estimated the odds ratios (ORs) of infection and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We further evaluated whether infection was related to a reduction in mental wellbeing. Of the participants, 4.9% reported a previous infection. No significant relationship between sex and infection was observed. Prior infection was less frequently reported in subjects aged ≥70 (OR = 0.55; 95% CI: 0.41-0.74) compared to 65-69 years, with no trend after 70 years of age. Those with at least one chronic condition reported a lower infection rate compared to healthy subjects (OR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.49-0.93). Participants who lived alone more frequently reported infection than those who cohabited (OR = 2.33; 95% CI: 1.29-4.20). Prior infection was related to increased depressive symptoms (OR = 1.57; 95% CI: 1.17-2.10). This representative study of people aged ≥65 years suggests that in Italy, the oldest subjects and chronic patients less frequently exposed themselves to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

12.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 702, 2022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900531

ABSTRACT

Only a few studies investigated changes in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and heated tobacco product (HTP) use during pandemic restrictions. We conducted a web-based cross-sectional study of a representative sample of 6,003 Italian adults during the strictest phase of the Covid-19 lockdown (April-May 2020). Participants were asked to report changes in e-cigarette and HTP use compared to before the pandemic. E-cigarette users increased from 8.1% to 9.1% and HTP users from 4.0% to 4.5%. Among e-cigarette non-users before lockdown, 1.8% started using e-cigarettes during lockdown. New users were more frequently younger (p for trend 0.001), men (odds ratio, OR 1.56; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.03-2.34), cannabis users (OR 2.35; 95% CI: 1.33-4.13), gamblers (OR 3.34; 95% CI: 2.18-5.11) and individuals with anxiety symptoms (OR 1.58; 95% CI: 1.00-2.52). 1.0% of HTP non-users started using it during lockdown. New users were less frequently current than never cigarette smokers (OR 0.19; 95% CI: 0.06-0.61) and more frequently gamblers (OR 2.23; 95% CI: 1.22-4.07). E-cigarettes and HTPs played little role as smoking cessation tools for hardcore smokers but rather provided opportunities for young never smokers to engage in socially acceptable activities, perhaps reflecting the obstacles they faced in obtaining other addictive substances during confinement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Tobacco Products/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Smokers/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
13.
Prim Care Diabetes ; 16(5): 650-657, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895361

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Restrictions imposed to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission should be weighed against consequences on vulnerable groups' health. Lifestyles and disease management of older people with diabetes might have been differentially impacted compared to non-chronic individuals. METHODS: A cross-sectional study (LOST in Lombardia) was conducted on a representative full sample of 4 400 older adults (17th-30th November 2020), collecting data on lifestyles, mental health and access to care before and during the pandemic. RESULTS: We compared 947 (51.9%) people with diabetes and 879 (48.1%) healthy subjects reporting no chronic conditions. People with diabetes reported more frequently increased physical activity (odds ratio, OR 2.65, 95% confidence internals, CI 1.69-4.13), drinks/week reduction (OR 6.27, 95%CI 3.59-10.95), increased consumption of fruit (OR 2.06, 95%CI 1.62-2.63), vegetables (OR 1.41, 95%CI 1.10-1.82), fish (OR 2.51, 95%CI 1.74-3.64) and olive oil (OR 3.54, 95%CI 2.30-5.46). People with diabetes increased telephone contacts with general practitioners (OR 3.70, 95%CI 2.83-4.83), hospitalisations (OR 9.01, 95%CI 3.96-20.51), visits and surgeries cancellations (OR 3.37, 95%CI 2.58-4.42) and treatment interruptions (OR 1.95, 95%CI 1.33-2.86). CONCLUSIONS: Pandemic adverse effects occurred but are heterogenous in a population with chronic diseases, who seized the opportunity to improve health behaviours, despite health system difficulties guaranteeing routine care, within and beyond COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Humans , Olive Oil , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(11)2022 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869585

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic had an unfavorable impact on overall mortality in Italy, with the strongest consequences in northern Italy. Scant data are available on cause-specific mortality. This study aims at investigating the impact of the pandemic on the overall and cause-specific mortality in one province in northern Italy, Pavia. We linked individual-level administrative data (i.e., death certification and population data) from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in Pavia province between 2015 and 2020. We computed age-standardized mortality rates (Italian population 2011) by cause, sex, and calendar year, and computed the rate ratio and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals to compare rates in 2020 versus 2015-2019. The 2020 excess total mortality in Pavia was 24% in men and 25% in women, reaching rates of 1272.6/100,000 and 1304.4/100,000, respectively. Significant excesses were found for infectious and parasitic diseases, excluding COVID-19 (about +30% in both sexes); respiratory system diseases (44% in men; 30% in women); and dementia and Alzheimer's disease among men (24%). Reductions were reported for neoplasms (-14% in men); cerebrovascular diseases (-25% in men); and ischemic diseases (-13% in women), but also for transport accidents in men. COVID-19 was the third cause of death in both sexes with rates of 274.9/100,000 men (859 total deaths) and 213.9/100,000 women (758 total deaths). Excess mortality in Pavia was higher than Italy but lower than Lombardy. Increases in mortality from causes related to infectious and respiratory diseases can likely be explained by underdiagnosed deaths from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Cause of Death , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Mortality , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics
15.
Front Neurol ; 13: 838291, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820151

ABSTRACT

Background: Although a direct relationship between tinnitus or hearing difficulties and COVID-19 has been suggested, current literature provides inconsistent results, and no research has been undertaken in older adults. Methods: In November 2020, we conducted the LOST in Lombardia survey, a telephone-based cross-sectional study on a sample of 4,400 individuals representative of the general population aged ≥65 years from Lombardy region, Northern Italy. Individuals with diagnosed tinnitus and/or hearing loss were asked whether their conditions had improved or deteriorated in 2020 compared to 2019. Results: Overall, 8.1% of older adults reported a diagnosis of tinnitus and 10.5% of hearing loss. In 2020 compared to 2019, among individuals with tinnitus, those with increasing severity (5.0%) were similar to those decreasing it (5.3%). Among individuals with hearing loss, more people reported an increase (13.6%) than a decrease (3.2%) in their disease severity. No individual with a diagnosis in 2020 of tinnitus (n = 6) or hearing loss (n = 13) had COVID-19. The incidence of tinnitus was lower in 2020 (rate: 14.8 per 10,000 person-years) than in previous years (rate in 1990-2019: 36.0 per 10,000 person-years; p = 0.026). There was no change in the incidence of hearing loss (p = 0.134). Conclusions: In this large representative sample of older adults, on average neither COVID-19 confinement nor SARS-CoV-2 infection appeared to increase the severity or incidence of tinnitus. The increased severity of hearing difficulties may totally or partially be explained by physiologic deterioration of the condition, or by a misperception due to the use of face-masks.

17.
Eur J Public Health ; 32(3): 488-493, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784340

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Evidence showed that mental health problems have risen markedly during COVID-19. It is unclear if part of the mental sufferings relates to the climate of uncertainty and confusion originated from rough communication by health officials and politicians. Here, we test the impact of unanticipated policy announcements of lockdown policies on mental health of the older population. METHODS: We used a representative telephone-based survey of 4400 people aged 65 years or older in Italy's Lombardy region to compare information on self-reported symptoms of anxiety, depression and poor-quality sleep of subjects interviewed on the days of the policy announcement with that of subjects interviewed on other days. We used regression models adjusting for potential socio-demographic confounders as well study design with inverse probability weighting. RESULTS: On days when policymakers announced to extend the lockdown, mental health deteriorated on average by 5.5 percentage points [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1-9.8] for self-reported anxiety symptoms and 5.1 percentage points (95% CI: 2.7-7.4) for self-reported depressive symptoms. The effect of the announcement to shorten the lockdown is more moderate but statistically significant. These associations were short term in duration; after just 1 day, self-reported mental health and sleep quality return to levels better than pre-announcement until a new policy change. CONCLUSIONS: Our research shows that lockdown policy announcements are associated with short-term worsening in mental distress, highlighting the importance of appropriate communication strategies and political determinations in crisis times.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mental Health
18.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol ; 57(8): 1543-1555, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763334

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Benefits of national-level stay-at-home order imposed in Italy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission need to be carefully weighed against its impact on citizens' health. In a country with a strong familial culture and where welfare relies on households, confinement drastically decreased support provided by elder relatives, which may have resulted in mental health worsening. METHODS: A web-based cross-sectional study (LOST in Italy) was conducted on a representative sample of Italian adults during lockdown (27th of April-3rd of May 2020). We asked 3156 subjects to report on reduced help in housework and childcare from retired parents to assess the impact of confinement on mental health, through validated scales before and during lockdown. RESULTS: Overall, 1484 (47.0%) subjects reported reduced housework help from parents, and 769 (64.0%, of the 1202 subjects with children) diminished babysitting support. Subjects reporting reduced housework help had worsened sleep quality (multivariate odds ratio, OR = 1.74, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.49-2.03) and quantity (OR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.28-1.76), depressive (OR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.14-1.53) and anxiety symptoms (OR = 1.53, 95% CI 1.32-1.78), compared to those reporting unreduced help. Worsening in sleep quality (OR = 2.32, 95% CI 1.76-3.05), and quantity (OR = 1.80, 95% CI 1.36-2.37), depressive (OR = 1.79, 95% CI 1.39-2.31) and anxiety symptoms (OR = 1.90, 95% CI 1.48-2.46) was also associated with reduced babysitting help. Mental health outcomes were worse in subjects with poorer housing and teleworking during lockdown. CONCLUSION: Confinement came along with reduced familial support from parents, negatively impacting household members' mental health. Our findings might inform evidence-based family and welfare policies to promote population health within and beyond pandemic times.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 3(3): e126-e127, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758024
20.
Int J Food Sci Nutr ; 73(5): 683-692, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740607

ABSTRACT

Little is known on potential socioeconomic and gender disparities in dietary changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a telephone-based survey during fall 2020 on 4400 participants representative of the population aged 65-99 years living in Lombardy, Italy. Changes in a Mediterranean lifestyle were assessed retrospectively by scoring modifications in the consumption of nine food groups and five diet-related behaviours compared to 2019. A Mediterranean COVID-19 Pandemic Score (MedCovid-19 Score) was computed, reflecting changes during pandemic, with increasing values indicating improvements in line with a Mediterranean lifestyle. Predictors of favourable dietary changes (MedCovid-19 Score ≥ 1) were education (odds ratio [OR] = 1.52; 95% confidence interval 1.19-1.95 for postgraduate vs. lower), wealth (OR = 1.52; 1.14-2.02 for high vs. low) and skilled manual occupations (OR = 1.57; 1.28-1.92 vs. white collars). Women were more likely than men to move away from a Mediterranean lifestyle (OR = 1.86; 1.58-2.21). In conclusions, changes towards a Mediterranean lifestyle were disproportionately distributed across gender and socioeconomic strata.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diet, Mediterranean , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Educational Status , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Life Style , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Socioeconomic Factors
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