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1.
Hypertension ; 76(5): 1368-1383, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2153222

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine allows the remote exchange of medical data between patients and healthcare professionals. It is used to increase patients' access to care and provide effective healthcare services at a distance. During the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, telemedicine has thrived and emerged worldwide as an indispensable resource to improve the management of isolated patients due to lockdown or shielding, including those with hypertension. The best proposed healthcare model for telemedicine in hypertension management should include remote monitoring and transmission of vital signs (notably blood pressure) and medication adherence plus education on lifestyle and risk factors, with video consultation as an option. The use of mixed automated feedback services with supervision of a multidisciplinary clinical team (physician, nurse, or pharmacist) is the ideal approach. The indications include screening for suspected hypertension, management of older adults, medically underserved people, high-risk hypertensive patients, patients with multiple diseases, and those isolated due to pandemics or national emergencies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Hypertension/drug therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Blood Pressure Determination/methods , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Management , Evidence-Based Medicine , Female , Humans , Hypertension/diagnosis , Italy , Male , Occupational Health , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Severity of Illness Index
3.
Viruses ; 14(11)2022 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2143711

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is constantly evolving, leading to new variants. We analysed data from 4400 SARS-CoV-2-positive samples in order to pursue epidemiological variant surveillance and to evaluate their impact on public health in Italy in the period of April-December 2021. The main circulating strain (76.2%) was the Delta variant, followed by the Alpha (13.3%), the Omicron (5.3%), and the Gamma variants (2.9%). The B.1.1 lineages, Eta, Beta, Iota, Mu, and Kappa variants, represented around 1% of cases. There were 48.2% of subjects who had not been vaccinated, and they had a lower median age compared to the vaccinated subjects (47 vs. 61 years). An increasing number of infections in the vaccinated subjects were observed over time, with the highest proportion in November (85.2%). The variants correlated with clinical status; the largest proportion of symptomatic patients (59.6%) was observed with the Delta variant, while subjects harbouring the Gamma variant showed the highest proportion of asymptomatic infection (21.6%), albeit also deaths (5.4%). The Omicron variant was only found in the vaccinated subjects, of which 47% had been hospitalised. The diffusivity and pathogenicity associated with the different SARS-CoV-2 variants are likely to have relevant public health implications, both at the national and international levels. Our study provides data on the rapid changes in the epidemiological landscape of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Italy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology
4.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277904, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2140673

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen detection tests (RADTs) validation studies have been performed on specimens from COVID-19 patients and negative controls or from mostly symptomatic individuals. Herein we evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of AFIAS COVID-19 Ag, hereinafter denominated as AFIAS, during a COVID-19 screening program surveillance testing conducted among personnel of an Italian military airport. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPSs) were collected from study participants and were analysed by both AFIAS and RT-PCR assay. A questionnaire collecting demographic and exposure data were administered to all participants. AFIAS accuracy parameters including Cohen's kappa (K) were determined. RESULTS: Overall, from November 2020 to April 2021, 1294 (NPSs) were collected from 1183 participants (88.6% males, 11.4% females; mean age were 41.3, median age 42). Forty-nine NPSs (3.78%) were positive by RT-PCR, while 54 NPSs were positive by AFIAS. Overall baseline sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 0.633, 0.981, 0.574, 0.985, respectively and K was 0.585 (moderate). AFIAS sensitivity tended to be higher for NPSs with higher viral load. A higher sensitivity (0.944) compared to the overall baseline sensitivity (0.633) was also found for NPSs from participants with COVID-19 compatible symptoms, for which K was 0.891 (almost perfect). Instead, AFIAS sensitivity was quite poor for NPSs from asymptomatic participants. Most false negative NPSs in this group had moderate viral load. CONCLUSION: Overall, AFIAS showed high specificity but only moderate sensitivity, mainly because of the high proportion of asymptomatic participants. However, AFIAS showed good sensitivity for NPSs with high viral load and nearly optimal accuracy parameters for NPSs from participants with COVID-19 compatible symptoms. Thus, taking into consideration its performance features, this test can be useful for COVID-19 case identification and management as well as for infection control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Military Personnel , Female , Male , Humans , Adult , SARS-CoV-2 , Airports , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology
5.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0269843, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2140430

ABSTRACT

The classical SEIR model, being an autonomous system of differential equations, has important limitations when representing a pandemic situation. Particularly, the geometric unimodal shape of the epidemic curve is not what is generally observed. This work introduces the ßSEIR model, which adds to the classical SEIR model a differential law to model the variation in the transmission rate. It considers two opposite thrives generally found in a population: first, reaction to disease presence that may be linked to mitigation strategies, which tends to decrease transmission, and second, the urge to return to normal conditions that pulls to restore the initial value of the transmission rate. Our results open a wide spectrum of dynamic variabilities in the curve of new infected, which are justified by reaction and restoration thrives that affect disease transmission over time. Some of these dynamics have been observed in the existing COVID-19 disease data. In particular and to further exemplify the potential of the model proposed in this article, we show its capability of capturing the evolution of the number of new confirmed cases of Chile and Italy for several months after epidemic onset, while incorporating a reaction to disease presence with decreasing adherence to mitigation strategies, as well as a seasonal effect on the restoration of the initial transmissibility conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chile/epidemiology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 1372, 2022 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2139273

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Dementia is a disease that impacts people with dementia, their families, and the healthcare system. In 2018, the number of people with dementia in the EU, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and the UK was estimated to be 9.1 million. National dementia strategies and publications by organisations such as Alzheimer Europe outline how dementia-specific care should be designed. This study aims to provide insights into existing formal care structures, models of good practise, and gaps in dementia-specific care for people with dementia in 17 European countries. METHODS: The research is based on guided interviews with country-specific care experts. A mixed-methods approach with a combination of open and closed questions was used. All interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim based on the transcription rules of Kuckarts (2010). For data evaluation, the qualitative content analysis model of Mayring (2014) was used. RESULTS: In all 17 countries, efforts for dementia-friendly care and models of good care practise exist. However, there are large differences between European countries regarding the spread of dementia-specific services. In nine countries (Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the UK), there are already nationwide structures, while in five countries (Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Romania), services are only available in certain regions. In three countries (Austria, Denmark, Germany) dementia-specific outpatient services are widespread nationwide, whereas inpatient services are not. Simultaneously, in all countries, areas with major care gaps exist. Several European states have an urgent need for action concerning the expansion of the provision of dementia-specific services, the reduction of regional differences regarding the provision of care, the elimination of barriers to access to care, the dementia-friendliness of services, and the participation of people with dementia and their relatives in care and research. CONCLUSIONS: To reduce the existing structural inequalities in care between and within European countries, and to establish quality-related minimum standards in the care of people with dementia, transnational concepts are needed. The EU, in cooperation with care planners, research institutions, care providers, and patient organisations, should develop European care guidelines or dementia plans that contain concrete measures, schedules, and budgets.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Dementia , Humans , Europe , Italy , Netherlands , Dementia/epidemiology , Dementia/therapy
8.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(11): e2243119, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2127459

ABSTRACT

Importance: Delays in screening programs and the reluctance of patients to seek medical attention because of the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 could be associated with the risk of more advanced colorectal cancers at diagnosis. Objective: To evaluate whether the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was associated with more advanced oncologic stage and change in clinical presentation for patients with colorectal cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective, multicenter cohort study included all 17 938 adult patients who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer from March 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021 (pandemic period), and from January 1, 2018, to February 29, 2020 (prepandemic period), in 81 participating centers in Italy, including tertiary centers and community hospitals. Follow-up was 30 days from surgery. Exposures: Any type of surgical procedure for colorectal cancer, including explorative surgery, palliative procedures, and atypical or segmental resections. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was advanced stage of colorectal cancer at diagnosis. Secondary outcomes were distant metastasis, T4 stage, aggressive biology (defined as cancer with at least 1 of the following characteristics: signet ring cells, mucinous tumor, budding, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, and lymphangitis), stenotic lesion, emergency surgery, and palliative surgery. The independent association between the pandemic period and the outcomes was assessed using multivariate random-effects logistic regression, with hospital as the cluster variable. Results: A total of 17 938 patients (10 007 men [55.8%]; mean [SD] age, 70.6 [12.2] years) underwent surgery for colorectal cancer: 7796 (43.5%) during the pandemic period and 10 142 (56.5%) during the prepandemic period. Logistic regression indicated that the pandemic period was significantly associated with an increased rate of advanced-stage colorectal cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95% CI, 1.01-1.13; P = .03), aggressive biology (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.15-1.53; P < .001), and stenotic lesions (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.01-1.31; P = .03). Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study suggests a significant association between the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the risk of a more advanced oncologic stage at diagnosis among patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer and might indicate a potential reduction of survival for these patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Adult , Male , Humans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Cohort Studies , Retrospective Studies , Hospitals, Community , Italy/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/surgery
9.
Epidemiol Prev ; 46(5-6): In press, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2145853

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to evaluate the impact of school closures, as a measure to contain the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection, on the psychological well-being of students of all levels starting from the 2020-2021 school year. DESIGN: a systematic literature review was conducted according to the PRISMA 2020 Guidelines. The literature search was conducted on 4 different databases: MedLine, Embase, PsycINFO, and L.OVE Platform. Quantitative observational studies published until 10.01.2022 were included. Studies conducted during the first pandemic wave, i.e., during the 2019-2020 school year and/or during the mandatory lockdown or confinement period, were excluded. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed with validated scales. Study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment were carried out independently by two authors. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: children, adolescents, and young people attending all levels of education (including universities) and, for reasons related to COVID-19, having a suspension of "in presence" school or attending classes remotely. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: a. outcomes directly related to mental health: suicides, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations for psychiatric problems; anxiety and depression, emotional difficulties, feelings of loneliness and isolation; b. well-being outcomes: sleep quality, perceived well-being (by child/adolescent/youth or referred by parents); c. health-related behaviours: tobacco smoking, alcohol, drug use. Outcomes related to school/academic performance, physical health, and those related to parents were not considered. RESULTS: after having removed duplicate articles, 2,830 records were retrieved with the bibliographic search. Twelve studies (2 uncontrolled before-after studies and 10 cross sectional surveys) were included, involving a total of 27,787 participants. Three studies involved university students, 2 involved high school students, and the remaining involved a mixed population of students attending primary and middle schools. The studies were conducted between September 2020 and April 2021. The methodological quality was rated as high in five studies and intermediate in the remaining studies. Due to the high heterogeneity of outcome measures and statistical analyses performed among the included studies, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis of the results of the considered publications. Nevertheless, the present review showed a clear signal of increase in mental health problems in relation to school closure or virtual instruction. In particular, results suggest evidence of association between school closure and risk of suicidal attempts or thoughts, mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, emotional disorders, psychological stress. Sleeping problems, drug and alcohol addiction were poorly studied. CONCLUSIONS: despite the limitations of the included studies and possible residual confounding and contamination due to restrictive measures and social isolation implemented during the pandemic, the available evidence confirms the negative impact on students' mental health associated with school closures and distance learning. Given the availability of vaccination also for young children, a long period of school closure should be avoided also in the case of the emergence of new pandemic waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Child , Adolescent , Humans , Child, Preschool , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Communicable Disease Control , SARS-CoV-2 , Italy , Health Behavior
10.
Epidemiol Prev ; 46(5-6): In press, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2145850

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: the influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses share a common respiratory symptomatology and transmission mode. COVID-19 and influenza R0 overlapped in the first epidemic wave. In autumn 2021-winter 2022, the influenza epidemic had a delayed onset compared to pre-COVID-19 years and lower incidence rates than in the pre-pandemic period. The SARS-CoV-2 and influenza vaccination campaign overlapped in 2021-2022. OBJECTIVES: to evaluate in the SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated cohort the effect of different timing of influenza vaccination on hospitalisations for COVID-19 and overall mortality. DESIGN: prospective cohort study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: subjects aged 65 years or older who were administered the first booster dose of SARS-COV-2 vaccine between 01.10.2021 and 01.03.2022. Based on the date of influenza vaccination, subjects were divided into the following 4 different mutually exclusive groups: 1. two vaccinations in the same vaccination session; 2. influenza vaccination following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination; 3. influenza vaccination preceding SARS-CoV-2 vaccination; 4. no influenza vaccination. Using Cox regression models, hazard ratio (HR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of hospitalisation and death were estimated for the influenza-vaccinated subjects compared to influenza-unvaccinated subjects. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: ordinary hospital admissions for COVID-19 and general mortality. RESULTS: the cohort included 618,964 subjects: 16.3% received two vaccinations in the same vaccination session, 8.5% received the influenza vaccination after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, 33.9% received it before and 41.1% did not receive an influenza vaccination. Those vaccinated against both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza had a combined HR of 0.73 (0.62-0.86) of hospitalisation for COVID-19 and 0.55 (0.49-0.62) of overall mortality compared to those vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 only. CONCLUSIONS: influenza vaccination combined with SARS-CoV-2 vaccination increases the protective effect against hospitalisations and overall mortality compared to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination alone. Both organisational and communication actions aimed to promote and encourage vaccination are required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Prospective Studies , Italy/epidemiology , Vaccination , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Hospitalization , Risk Assessment
11.
J Prev Med Hyg ; 63(3): E405-E414, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2145537

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are one of the highest priority groups recommended for seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV). Greater awareness of the importance of influenza vaccination was observed among HCWs after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to analyze SIV coverage rates in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons among HCWs employed at the IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino in Genoa, in order to observe how coverage has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Methods: A retrospective, single-center study was conducted among HCWs working at the IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino in Genoa. The vaccinated population was stratified by gender, age, qualification and area of activity, and the characteristics of vaccinated HCWs were analyzed. Results: While SIV coverage was below the recommended target in all seasons, a sharp increase was observed in 2020/2021 (12.8%; 40.9% and 23% in 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022, respectively). The mean and median age of vaccinees also increased during the 2020/2021 vaccination campaign (46.7 and 49 years, respectively) in comparison with the 2019/2020 season (43.5 and 45, respectively). In the 2019/2020 and 2021/2022 seasons, a higher proportion of vaccinees were physicians. Vaccinated females outnumbered males, but the coverage rate resulted greater in males than females in all three seasons. While a higher proportion of vaccinated subjects worked in medical areas, the most evident increase over the three years was seen among subjects working in the services area. Conclusions: This survey highlights the importance of studying the determinants that influence vaccination adherence and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected SIV coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Male , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Vaccination Coverage , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , Vaccination , Health Personnel , Hospitals, University , Italy/epidemiology
12.
J Prev Med Hyg ; 63(3): E391-E398, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2145535

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic represented an unprecedented challenge for the healthcare world and the introduction of a new stronger and believable project plays a fundamental role for the quality of work and the provision of qualitative care. Aim: The survey provided by Italian Association for the Quality of Health and Social Care (ASIQUAS) aims to examines the impact of "Health" chapter included in the Recovery Plan, through the assessment of management quality of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Starting from a literature review, in September 2021, a web-based survey has been conducted and administered by e-mail. It has been taken into account measures widely used by different healthcare structures in order to analyze the projects implemented in the face of pandemic and to evaluate the new real possibility to invest funds in new healthcare structures and projects. Results: The survey consists of 19 multiple choices and respondents were from different types of structures, including regional departments and regional health agencies (1.4%), universities, research centers and scientific hospitalization and treatment institutes (IRCCS) (11%), hospitals and university polyclinics (34.2%), Local Health Authorities (39.7%), socio-health organizations and Others (13.7%). The pandemic has highlighted many vulnerabilities at both hospitals and territorial level. The major weaknesses revealed by the survey are mainly due to the lack of support from new staff units and poor availability of specific training tools for COVID-19 procedures. The Recovery Plan is still unclear with a lot of concern about the implementation and many limits of diffusion. Conclusions: It becomes essential to guarantee a new effective and interoperative model of integration. Today we can start more aware for the implementation of a system closer to everyone's needs, making shortcomings the new strength and starting point.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Health Facilities , Italy
13.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e27091, 2021 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141322

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported a low prevalence of current smoking among hospitalized COVID-19 cases; however, no definitive conclusions can be drawn. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the association of tobacco smoke exposure with nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) test results for SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease severity accounting for possible confounders. METHODS: The nationwide, self-administered, cross-sectional web-based Italian National Epidemiological Survey on COVID-19 (EPICOVID19) was administered to an Italian population of 198,822 adult volunteers who filled in an online questionnaire between April 13 and June 2, 2020. For this study, we analyzed 6857 individuals with known NPS test results. The associations of smoking status and the dose-response relationship with a positive NPS test result and infection severity were calculated as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs by means of logistic and multinomial regression models adjusting for sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics. RESULTS: Out of the 6857 individuals (mean age 47.9 years, SD 14.1; 4516/6857, 65.9% female), 63.2% (4334/6857) had never smoked, 21.3% (1463/6857) were former smokers, and 15.5% (1060/6857) were current smokers. Compared to nonsmokers, current smokers were younger, were more educated, were less affected by chronic diseases, reported COVID-19-like symptoms less frequently, were less frequently hospitalized, and less frequently tested positive for COVID-19. In multivariate analysis, current smokers had almost half the odds of a positive NPS test result (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.45-0.65) compared to nonsmokers. We also found a dose-dependent relationship with tobacco smoke: mild smokers (adjusted OR [aOR] 0.76, 95% CI 0.55-1.05), moderate smokers (aOR 0.56, 95% CI 0.42-0.73), and heavy smokers (aOR 0.38, 95% CI 0.27-0.53). This inverse association also persisted when considering the severity of the infection. Current smokers had a statistically significantly lower probability of having asymptomatic (aOR 0.50, 95% CI 0.27-0.92), mild (aOR 0.65, 95% CI 0.53-0.81), and severe infections (aOR 0.27, 95% CI 0.17-0.42) compared to those who never smoked. CONCLUSIONS: Current smoking was negatively associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection with a dose-dependent relationship. Ad hoc experimental studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this association. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04471701; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04471701.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Smoking/epidemiology , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Internet , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires
14.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 19336, 2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2118705

ABSTRACT

Recent literature on the mental health consequences of social distancing measures has found a substantial increase in self-reported sleep disorders, anxiety and depressive symptoms during lockdown periods. We investigate this issue with data on monthly purchases of psychotropic drugs from the universe of Italian pharmacies during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and find that purchases of mental health-related drugs have increased with respect to 2019. However, the excess volumes do not match the massive increase in anxiety and depressive disorders found in survey-based studies. We also study the interplay between mobility, measured with anonymized mobile phone data, and mental health and report no significant effect of mobility restrictions on antidepressants and anxiolytics purchases during 2020. We provide three potential mechanisms that could drive the discrepancy between self-reported mental health surveys and psychotropic drugs prescription registries: (1) stockpiling practices in the early phases of the pandemic; (2) the adoption of compensatory behavior and (3) unexpressed and unmet needs due to both demand- and supply-side shortages in healthcare services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , Psychotropic Drugs/therapeutic use , Antidepressive Agents/therapeutic use , Italy/epidemiology
15.
Minerva Anestesiol ; 88(11): 918-927, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117561

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Non-invasive ventilation may alter the morphology and histology of the upper airway mucosa. This study aimed to investigate the alterations of hypopharynx and oropharynx mucosa, identified during oro-tracheal intubation procedure via video-assisted laryngoscopy, in severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 related, treated by non-invasive ventilation via full-face mask or helmet. METHODS: Data of patients affected by Coronavirus 2 admitted to COVID Hospital of L'Aquila (Italy), presenting hypopharynx and oropharynx morphology alterations, requiring oro-tracheal intubation for invasive ventilation and initially treated with non-invasive ventilation were included in the study. The study aimed to investigate the upper airway mucosa alterations using oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal images and biopsies taken during video-assisted-laryngoscopy. Data from the hypopharynx and oropharynx morphology and histology alterations between non-invasive ventilation via a full-face mask or helmet used during hospitalization were compared. RESULTS: From 220 data recorded, 60 patients were included in the study and classified into non-invasive ventilation full-face mask group (30/60) and via helmet group. Comparing data between groups, significant differences were found with respect to hyperemia (77% vs. 20%), laryngeal bleeding ulcerations (87% vs. 13%), and vocal cord edema with >50% narrowing of the tracheal lumen (73% vs. 7%), respectively. The histology examination revealed fibrin-necrotic exudate with extensive necrotic degenerative changes in the sample tissue of the groups. There were not any differences in the duration time of non-invasive ventilation, time from hospitalization and the start of ventilation between groups. CONCLUSIONS: The data from this research suggested that there were differences in airway mucosa damages among patients treated with a full-face mask or helmet. Further studies should be planned to understand which non-invasive ventilation support may mitigate upper airway mucosa damages when oro-tracheal intubation is requested for invasive respiratory support.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Noninvasive Ventilation , Humans , Noninvasive Ventilation/methods , Masks , Head Protective Devices , Hypopharynx , Italy , COVID-19/therapy , Intubation, Intratracheal , Oropharynx
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115965

ABSTRACT

The mortality rate of hospitalized COVID-19 patients differed strongly between the first three pandemic waves. Nevertheless, their long-term survival has been poorly assessed. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical characteristics and mortality rates of 825 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection who were hospitalized at the Alessandria hub hospital, in Northern Italy, during the first fifty days of the first three pandemic waves. Each subject was followed in terms of vital status for six months from the date of hospital admission or until deceased. Patients admitted during the three waves differed in age (p = 0.03), disease severity (p < 0.0001), Charlson comorbidity index (p = 0.0002), oxygen therapy (p = 0.002), and invasive mechanical ventilation (p < 0.0001). By the end of follow-up, 309 deaths (38.7%) were observed, of which 186 occurred during hub hospitalization (22.5%). Deaths were distributed differently among the waves (p < 0.0001), resulting in being higher amongst those subjects admitted during the first wave. The COVID-19 infection was reported as the main cause of death and patients with a higher mortality risk were those aged ≥65 years [adjusted HR = 3.40 (95% CI 2.20-5.24)], with a higher disease severity [adjusted HR = 1.87 (95%CI 1.43-2.45)], and those requiring oxygen therapy [adjusted HR = 2.30 (95%CI 1.61-3.30)]. In conclusion, COVID-19 patients admitted to our hub hospital during the second and the third waves had a lower risk of long-term mortality than those admitted during the first. Older age, more severe disease, and the need for oxygen therapy were among the strongest risk factors for poor prognosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Pandemics , Italy/epidemiology , Oxygen
17.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 844, 2022 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115642

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: We aimed to assess harms (post-vaccine myocarditis and pericarditis) and benefits (preventing severe disease) of COVID-19 vaccination. METHODS: We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study. Using the integrated platform of the vaccination campaign of Lombardy Region (Italy), after the exclusion of 24,188 individuals not beneficiaries of the Regional Health Service, 9,184,146 citizens candidates to vaccine at December 27, 2020 were followed until November 30, 2021 (the loss to follow-up rate was 0.5%). From the date of administration of each vaccine dose to day 28 post-administration, three periods that covered exposure to the first, second, and third dose were defined. The benefit-risk profile of vaccines was performed by comparing the number needed to harm (NNH) and number needed to treat (NNT) by sex, age, and vaccine type. RESULTS: Incidence rates of myocarditis were 9.9 and 5.2 per million person-months during the exposure and no-exposure periods, respectively, and the incidence rates of pericarditis were 19.5 and 15.9 per million person-months, respectively. The risk of myocarditis was highest following exposure to the second dose of the Moderna vaccine (adjusted HR: 5.5, 95% CI: 3.7 to 8.1). Exposure to the Moderna vaccine was also associated with an increased risk of pericarditis (adjusted HR 2.2, 1.5 to 3.1). NNT was higher than NNH (9471 vs. 7213) for 16 to 19-year-old men who received the Moderna vaccine, while all other sex, age, and vaccine subgroups had a favourable harm-benefit profile. CONCLUSIONS: Men 16 to 19 years of age has the highest rates of myocarditis within a few days after receiving the Moderna vaccines. The balance between harms and benefits was almost always in favour of vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Myocarditis , Pericarditis , Male , Humans , Adolescent , Young Adult , Adult , Myocarditis/epidemiology , Myocarditis/etiology , Cohort Studies , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination/adverse effects , Pericarditis/epidemiology , Pericarditis/etiology , Italy/epidemiology
18.
Epidemiol Prev ; 46(5-6): In press, 2022.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2111276

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a generalised mortality excess was recorded in 2020. However, the mortality for COVID-19 cannot fully explain the observed excesses. The analysis of cause-specific mortality could contribute to estimate the direct and indirect effects of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and to the monitoring mortality trends. OBJECTIVES: to describe the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in overall and cause-specific mortality in population residing in the Agency for Health Protection (ATS) of Milan. Descriptive analysis of cause-specific mortality within thirty days of SARS-COV-2 infection. DESIGN: descriptive analysis of overall and cause-specific mortality in the ATS of Milan area in 2020 and comparison with a reference period (2015-2019). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: overall deaths in ATS of Milan in 2020 were collected, using the Local Registry of Causes of Death, and were classified according to the ICD-10 codes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: total and weekly overall and cause-specific mortality, by age. RESULTS:  in 2020, 44,757 deaths for all causes were observed in people residing in the ATS of Milan with percentage change of 35%. The leading cause of death in 2020 were cardiovascular disease and neoplasm; COVID-19 infection was the third cause. An excess of mortality was observed for most of all causes of deaths. Starting from 40-49-year age group, an increase of mortality was observed; the largest increase was observed in the group 70+ years. The largest increases were observed for endocrine, respiratory, and hypertensive diseases. On the contrary, for neoplasm, infectious (not COVID-19) diseases, traffic-related mortality, and cerebrovascular disease and ictus, a decrease of mortality was observed. The greater mortality increase was observed during the first pandemic wave. The leading cause of death after positive swab was COVID-19 infection, with little variation with age class. Other frequent causes of death were respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and neoplasm. CONCLUSIONS: the study showed a generalised increase for most causes of death; observed mortality trends may indicate delay in access to health care system, in diagnosis and treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , Cause of Death , SARS-CoV-2 , Italy/epidemiology , Mortality
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110084

ABSTRACT

(1) Introduction: Several studies observe a social gradient in the incidence and health consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but they rely mainly on spatial associations because individual-level data are lacking. (2) Objectives: To assess the impact of social inequalities in the health outcomes of COVID-19 during the first epidemic wave in Piedmont Region, Italy, evaluating the role of the unequal social distribution of comorbidities and the capacity of the healthcare system to promote equity. (3) Methods: Subjects aged over 35, resident in Piedmont on 22 February 2020, were followed up until 30 May 2020 for access to swabs, infection, hospitalization, admission to intensive care unit, in-hospital death, COVID-19, and all-cause death. Inequalities were assessed through an Index of Socioeconomic Disadvantage composed of information on education, overcrowding, housing conditions, and neighborhood deprivation. Relative incidence measures and Relative Index of Inequality were estimated through Poisson regression models, stratifying by gender and age groups (35-64 years; ≥65 years), adjusting for comorbidity. (4) Results: Social inequalities were found in the various outcomes, in the female population, and among elderly males. Inequalities in ICU were lower, but analyses only on in-patients discount the hypothesis of preferential access by the most advantaged. Comorbidities contribute to no more than 30% of inequalities. (5) Conclusions: Despite the presence of significant inequities, the pandemic does not appear to have further exacerbated health inequalities, partly due to the fairness of the healthcare system. It is necessary to reduce inequalities in the occurrence of comorbidities that confer susceptibility to COVID-19 and promote prevention policies that limit inequalities in the mechanisms of contagion and improve out-of-hospital timely treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Male , Humans , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Hospital Mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Italy/epidemiology
20.
Int J Infect Dis ; 111: 186-189, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2113752

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In Italy, the case fatality rate (CFR) of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the first wave of the pandemic showed significant geographic heterogeneity. The aim of this study was to explore the possible association between the CFR and measures of disease burden in the Italian regions using an ecological approach. METHODS: Cumulated regional data for the period February 24 to May 11, 2020 were analysed to assess the association of the CFR with the cumulative incidence of COVID-19 and the ratio between the maximum number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) and ICU beds available before the pandemic (ICU load), adjusting for median age of the patients at disease onset, number of nasopharyngeal swabs performed per confirmed case, and prevalence of chronic diseases . RESULTS: During the study period, the COVID-19 CFR in the Italian regions ranged between 5.0% and 18.4%. On multivariable regression analysis, the CFR was found to be significantly associated with the cumulative incidence (relative rate (RR) 1.02 per 100 cases/1 million increase), median patient age (RR 1.07 per 1 year increase), and ICU load (RR 1.72, 2.18, and 2.57, for >40-70% vs ≤40%, 70-140% vs ≤40%, and ≥140 vs ≤40%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: A high burden of COVID-19 may contribute to increased disease fatality, possibly as a result of the increasing demand for care of critically ill patients beyond health system capability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cost of Illness , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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