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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(4)2021 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112717

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 emergency has imposed distanced education and has interrupted most rehabilitation services. Adolescents with disabilities have been isolated, and the burden on their families has been exacerbated. A cross-sectional survey was administered to adolescents with disability and to parents of disabled children to describe their experience during lockdown and their concerns or expectations about rehabilitation. A sample of 53 adolescents and 239 parents completed the survey. Adolescents were ages 13-18 years old (45.3% female). Most parents were between 35 and 55 years old (84.9% female). While 53.6% of the parents reported no positive effects of the lockdown, 92.5% of the adolescents expressed favorable consequences. The increased time spent with family members was judged positively by 27.2% of parents and by 64.2% of adolescents. Concern for their child's disability was expressed by 47.3% of parents, while 73.6% of adolescents expressed concerns regarding the ban on meeting friends. In both groups, anxiety symptoms were correlated with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and with financial problems. Parents would have liked even more remote support from school and healthcare professionals, which was available for most participants. Thus, socioeconomic support, assistive technology and telerehabilitation strategies might help families with disabilities during a lockdown.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Disabled Children/rehabilitation , Adolescent , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Family , Female , Humans , Interpersonal Relations , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Social Behavior , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
J Sports Med Phys Fitness ; 61(2): 294-300, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1106688

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Exercise , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Energy Metabolism , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Sitting Position , Surveys and Questionnaires , Walking
3.
BMJ Open ; 11(2): e047216, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096996

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess the seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG among health careworkers (HCWs) in our university hospital and verify the risk of acquiring the infection according to work area. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Monocentric, Italian, third-level university hospital. PARTICIPANTS: All the employees of the hospital on a voluntary base, for a total of 4055 participants among 4572 HCWs (88.7%). PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of anti-SARS-CoV-2 positive serology according to working area. Association of anti-SARS-CoV-2 positive serology to selected variables (age, gender, country of origin, body mass index, smoking, symptoms and contact with confirmed cases). RESULTS: From 27 April 2020 to 12 June 2020, 4055 HCWs were tested and 309 (7.6%) had a serological positive test. No relevant difference was found between men and women (8.3% vs 7.3%, p=0.3), whereas a higher prevalence was observed among foreign-born workers (27/186, 14.5%, p<0.001), employees younger than 30 (64/668, 9.6%, p=0.02) or older than 60 years (38/383, 9.9%, p=0.02) and among healthcare assistants (40/320, 12.5%, p=0.06). Working as frontline HCWs was not associated with an increased frequency of positive serology (p=0.42). A positive association was found with presence and number of symptoms (p<0.001). The symptoms most frequently associated with a positive serology were taste and smell alterations (OR 4.62, 95% CI: 2.99 to 7.15) and fever (OR 4.37, 95% CI: 3.11 to 6.13). No symptoms were reported in 84/309 (27.2%) HCWs with positive IgG levels. Declared exposure to a suspected/confirmed case was more frequently associated (p<0.001) with positive serology when the contact was a family member (19/94, 20.2%) than a patient or colleague (78/888, 8.8%). CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection occurred undetected in a large fraction of HCWs and it was not associated with working in COVID-19 frontline areas. Beyond the hospital setting, exposure within the community represents an additional source of infection for HCWs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Immunoglobulin G , Personnel, Hospital , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , /epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitals, University , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Seroepidemiologic Studies
4.
Minerva Anestesiol ; 87(2): 144-146, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1089296
7.
J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) ; 22(1): 9-13, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081605

ABSTRACT

: The worldwide response to the current COVID-19 pandemic has been focused on how to prevent the disease and to protect the high-risk patient from a potentially lethal infection. Several consensus and guidelines articles have been published dealing with the cardiac patient with systemic hypertension, heart transplant or heart failure. Very little is known about the patients, both in the pediatric as well as in the adult age, with congenital heart disease. The peculiar physiology of the heart with a native, repaired or palliated congenital heart defect deserves a specialized care. Hereby we describe the early recommendations issued by the Italian Society of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Disease and how the network of the congenital cardiac institutions in Italy reacted to the threat of potential wide spread of the infection among this fragile kind of patient.


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Cardiology/organization & administration , Heart Defects, Congenital/therapy , Adult , Child , Heart Transplantation , Humans , Italy , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Societies, Medical
9.
Front Immunol ; 11: 609198, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1080669

ABSTRACT

During COVID-19 pandemic the care of onco-hematologic and autoimmune patients has raised the question whether they are at higher risk of infection and/or worse outcome. Here, we describe the clinical course of COVID-19 pneumonia in patients with autoimmune cytopenias (AIC) regularly followed at a reference center in Northern Italy. The study period started from COVID-19 outbreak (February 22, 2020) until the time of writing. Moreover, we provide a review of the literature, showing that most cases reported so far are AIC developed during or secondary to COVID-19 infection. At variance, data about AIC pre-existing to COVID infection are scanty. The 4 patients here described (2 autoimmune hemolytic anemias, AIHA, 1 Evans syndrome, and 1 immune thrombocytopenia) with COVID-19 pneumonia belong to a large cohort of 500 AIC patients, making this study nearly population-based. The observed frequency (4/501; 0.7%) is only slightly superior to that of the general population admitted to hospital/intensive care unit (0.28/0.03%, respectively) in Lombardy in the same period of observation. All cases occurred between March 21 and 25, whilst no more AIC were recorded later on. Although different in intensity of care needed, all patients recovered from COVID-19 pneumonia, with apparently no detrimental effect of previous/current immunomodulatory treatments. AIHA relapse occurred in two patients, but promptly responded to therapy. With limitations due to sample size, these results suggest a favorable outcome and a lower-than-expected incidence of COVID-19 pneumonia in patients with previously diagnosed AIC, and allow speculating that immunomodulatory drugs used for AIC may play a beneficial rather than a harmful effect on COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/complications , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Young Adult
10.
Ann Ig ; 33(2): 201-202, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079810

ABSTRACT

the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic started in December 2019 and still remains a major global health issue. Every country in the world has adopted drastic measures to contain the virus, although their stringency varies among countries, ranging from increased surveillance and focused interventions to strict lockdown (1). Italy was the second country where the disease had a major impact early in the pandemic, such that a strict nationwide lockdown was declared from March 9 to May 3, 2020. Nonetheless, between January and May 2020, there were 210,000 COVID-19 cases in Italy and 29,000 deaths were recorded (2). Due to the lockdown, universities (and in general all educational services) shifted to online classes, with students attending lessons and taking their exams from home. On-site activities were reduced to those considered indispensable. Research activities also had to be modified, such as by the adoption of a smart-working model (3). Between May and August 2020, the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Italy decreased. In response, the lockdown was loosened and some activities were restarted, albeit with specific safety protocols (social distancing, use of masks, temperature checks at the workplace entry, environmental disinfection, mixed models of smart and in-office work). These actions were accompanied by periodic serological and PCR screening tests (4).


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Pandemics , Universities , /epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Masks , Vaccination
11.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e23467, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073218

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many countries across the globe have released their own COVID-19 contact tracing apps. This has resulted in the proliferation of several apps that used a variety of technologies. With the absence of a standardized approach used by the authorities, policy makers, and developers, many of these apps were unique. Therefore, they varied by function and the underlying technology used for contact tracing and infection reporting. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to analyze most of the COVID-19 contact tracing apps in use today. Beyond investigating the privacy features, design, and implications of these apps, this research examined the underlying technologies used in contact tracing apps. It also attempted to provide some insights into their level of penetration and to gauge their public reception. This research also investigated the data collection, reporting, retention, and destruction procedures used by each of the apps under review. METHODS: This research study evaluated 13 apps corresponding to 10 countries based on the underlying technology used. The inclusion criteria ensured that most COVID-19-declared epicenters (ie, countries) were included in the sample, such as Italy. The evaluated apps also included countries that did relatively well in controlling the outbreak of COVID-19, such as Singapore. Informational and unofficial contact tracing apps were excluded from this study. A total of 30,000 reviews corresponding to the 13 apps were scraped from app store webpages and analyzed. RESULTS: This study identified seven distinct technologies used by COVID-19 tracing apps and 13 distinct apps. The United States was reported to have released the most contact tracing apps, followed by Italy. Bluetooth was the most frequently used underlying technology, employed by seven apps, whereas three apps used GPS. The Norwegian, Singaporean, Georgian, and New Zealand apps were among those that collected the most personal information from users, whereas some apps, such as the Swiss app and the Italian (Immuni) app, did not collect any user information. The observed minimum amount of time implemented for most of the apps with regard to data destruction was 14 days, while the Georgian app retained records for 3 years. No significant battery drainage issue was reported for most of the apps. Interestingly, only about 2% of the reviewers expressed concerns about their privacy across all apps. The number and frequency of technical issues reported on the Apple App Store were significantly more than those reported on Google Play; the highest was with the New Zealand app, with 27% of the reviewers reporting technical difficulties (ie, 10% out of 27% scraped reviews reported that the app did not work). The Norwegian, Swiss, and US (PathCheck) apps had the least reported technical issues, sitting at just below 10%. In terms of usability, many apps, such as those from Singapore, Australia, and Switzerland, did not provide the users with an option to sign out from their apps. CONCLUSIONS: This article highlighted the fact that COVID-19 contact tracing apps are still facing many obstacles toward their widespread and public acceptance. The main challenges are related to the technical, usability, and privacy issues or to the requirements reported by some users.


Subject(s)
Attitude , Contact Tracing/methods , Mobile Applications , Privacy , Australia , Data Collection , Disease Outbreaks , Geographic Information Systems , Georgia (Republic) , Humans , Italy , New Zealand , Norway , Singapore , Switzerland , Technology , United States , Wireless Technology
12.
BMJ Open ; 11(2): e044388, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072764

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In Italy, the first diagnosis of COVID-19 was confirmed on 20 February 2020 in the Lombardy region. Given the rapid spread of the infection in the population, it was suggested that in Europe, and specifically in Italy, the virus had already been present in the last months of 2019. In this paper, we aim to evaluate the hypothesis on the early presence of the virus in Italy by analysing data on trends of access to emergency departments (EDs) of subjects with a diagnosis of pneumonia during the 2015-2020 period. DESIGN: Time series cohort study. SETTING: We collected data on visits due to pneumonia between 1 October 2015 and 31 May 2020 in all EDs of the Agency for Health Protection of Milan (ATS of Milan). Trend in the winter of 2019-2020 was compared with those in the previous 4 years in order to identify unexpected signals potentially associated with the occurrence of the pandemic. Aggregated data were analysed using a Poisson regression model adjusted for seasonality and influenza outbreaks. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES : Daily pneumonia-related visits in EDs. RESULTS : In the studied period, we observed 105 651 pneumonia-related ED visits. Compared with the expected, a lower occurrence was observed in January 2020, while an excess of pneumonia visits started in the province of Lodi on 21 February 2020, and almost 10 days later was observed in the remaining territory of the ATS of Milan. Overall, the peak in excess was found on 17 March 2020 (369 excess visits compared with previous years, 95% CI 353 to 383) and ended in May 2020, the administrative end of the Italian lockdown. CONCLUSIONS : An early warning system based on routinely collected administrative data could be a feasible and low-cost strategy to monitor the actual situation of the virus spread both at local and national levels.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Epidemiological Monitoring , Pneumonia/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Young Adult
13.
Acta Biomed ; 91(14-S): e2020028, 2020 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1070033

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION AND AIM: The Coronavirus pandemic represents one of the most massive health emergencies in the last century. Aim of the study is to evaluate the trend of E.R. accesses and orthopaedic events during the pandemic of Covid-19. MATERIALS AND METHODS: we retrospectively analysed all data related to patients admitted to the E.R. Department of the Hospital of Piacenza from August 26th 2019 to August 23rd 2020, splitting this period on February 23rd 2020. RESULTS: Our analysis shows a reduction of -18.0% in E.R. accesses. We calculated a growth of deaths in the E.R. equal to +220%. Our orthopaedic pathway recorded a drop of -26.8%. Traumas occurred at home increased (+19.1%). We note an actual drop only on proximal femur fractures (weighted average of -17.7%), while all the others underwent an increase. DISCUSSION: The amount of E.R. accesses registered a drop -18.0%, while the pathway dedicated to emergency cases underwent an increase. The major complexity of clinical conditions influenced the number of hospitalizations and the fear of the infection increased hospitalization refusals. There has been a zeroing of school traumas, a reduction in sport, transfer home-work/work-home, work, roadside, injuries. Total amount of fractures strongly increase after the end of the lockdown. CONCLUSION: our data confirmed the decrease of retirement houses, sports, works and roadsides traumas and a zeroing of schools ones, while those occurred inside domestic environment underwent a consistent raise. We noticed a reduction in femur fractures and significant spread of all fractures after the end of the lockdown.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Orthopedics/statistics & numerical data , Femur/injuries , Fractures, Bone/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(4)2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069810

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause mild to moderate illness. The new variant COVID-19 has started to spread rapidly since December 2019, posing a new threat to global health. To counter the spread of the virus, the Italian government forced the population to close all activities starting from 9 March 2020 to 4 May 2020. In this scenario, we conducted a cross-sectional study on a heterogeneous sample (average age of 28 ± 12 years, 62.6% females) of the University of Naples Federico II (Italy). The aim of the study was to describe the lifestyle change in the university population during quarantine for the COVID 19 pandemic. Participants compiled an online survey consisting of 3 sections: socio-demographic data, dietary behaviours, physical activity habits and psychological aspects. The different results by gender are: 90.8% of females continued to work from home (81.9% were students); 34.8% increased their physical activity; and, only 0.8% prefer ready meals. Whereas, the same percentage of men continued to work from home (90%), but only 72.1% were students (p < 0.001 vs. females), only 23.9% increased physical activity (p < 0.001) and 1.7% favous ready meals. Our data shows that the male population was more affected by isolation and quarantine reporting more unfavourable behavioural changes.


Subject(s)
Diet , Exercise , Faculty , Pandemics , Students , Adolescent , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Life Style , Male , Quarantine , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities , Work , Young Adult
15.
Front Public Health ; 8: 591900, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069767

ABSTRACT

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic. Simultaneously, in Italy, in which the first case had occurred on February 18, the rigid phase of the lockdown began. The country has attracted worldwide attention, becoming at the same time a field of study both concerning the spread of the pandemic and advanced assessments of the effectiveness of political, public health, and therapeutic measures. The protagonists of the Italian crisis were the healthcare workers (HCWs) who were exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) without having any perception of what they were facing, courageously contributing to the containment of the epidemic to be defined by the media as "heroes." However, in the first phase of the pandemic (March-May 2020), the price that the Italian Public Health System had to pay both in terms of the number of positive virus cases and deaths among the HCWs was beyond and represented a peculiarity compared to what happened in other countries. In the current study, after a summary of the evolution of the pandemic in Italy, we offer an analysis of the statistical data concerning contagions and deaths among healthcare workers (physicians in particular). In conclusion, we describe the critical issues that still need to be resolved and the future challenges facing healthcare workers and the general population.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , RNA, Messenger , /epidemiology , Health Personnel/ethics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment , Public Health , Surveys and Questionnaires
16.
Ital J Pediatr ; 47(1): 24, 2021 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069577

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. There is now mounting evidence that a minority of children infected with SARS-CoV2 may experience a severe multisystem inflammatory syndrome, called Multisystem inflammatory Syndrome associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (MIS-C). To date no universally agreed approach is available for this disease. MAIN BODY: as Italy is now facing a second hity of COVID-19 cases, we fear a recrudescence of MIS-C cases. We have, therefore, decided to prepare a report that will help clinicians to face this novel and challenging disease. We propose a diagnostic algorithm, to help case definition and guide work-up, and a therapeutic approach. MIS-C should be promptly recognized, based on the presence of systemic inflammation and specific organ involvement. Early treatment is crucial, and it will be based on the combined use of corticosteroids, high-dose immunoglobulins and anti-cytokine treatments, depending on the severity of the disease. Ancillary treatments (such as. aspirin and thrombo-profilaxis) will be also discussed. CONCLUSIONS: we propose a document that will help physicians to diagnose and treat MIS-C patients. Given the level of evidence available and the methodology used, this document should not be interpreted as a guideline; the final decision about the optimal management should still be taken by the caring physician, on an individual basis.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/diagnosis , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/therapy , Child , Female , Humans , Italy , Male
17.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 157, 2021 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069549

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Laboratory data and computed tomography (CT) have been used during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly to determine patient prognosis and guide clinical management. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between CT findings and laboratory data in a cohort of COVID-19 patients. METHODS: This was an observational cross-sectional study including consecutive patients presenting to the Reggio Emilia (Italy) province emergency rooms for suspected COVID-19 for one month during the outbreak peak, who underwent chest CT scan and laboratory testing at presentation and resulted positive for SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Included were 866 patients. Total leukocytes, neutrophils, C-reactive protein (CRP), creatinine, AST, ALT and LDH increase with worsening parenchymal involvement; an increase in platelets was appreciable with the highest burden of lung involvement. A decrease in lymphocyte counts paralleled worsening parenchymal extension, along with reduced arterial oxygen partial pressure and saturation. After correcting for parenchymal extension, ground-glass opacities were associated with reduced platelets and increased procalcitonin, consolidation with increased CRP and reduced oxygen saturation. CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary lesions induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection were associated with raised inflammatory response, impaired gas exchange and end-organ damage. These data suggest that lung lesions probably exert a central role in COVID-19 pathogenesis and clinical presentation.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Adult , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy , Lung/pathology , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Oxygen/blood , Procalcitonin/blood , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
19.
Acta Biomed ; 91(14-S): e2020001, 2020 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068226

ABSTRACT

Limiting people's movement is one of the main preventive measures deployed for the control of coronavirus 2019­nCoV pandemic. This study aims to assess the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the incidence of the most common skeletal injuries and to provide a management algorithm specific for hospitalized fractured patients.We comparatively analysed the Emergency Department (ED) admissions between March 9th and May 4th 2020 with the same period in 2019. The frequency of the most common skeletal injuries has been derived. Data from the pre-hospitalization phase to discharge of all patients were considered. The impact on clinical orthopaedic consulting has been evaluated. All patients requiring orthopaedic care followed different pathways of hospitalization based on COVID positivity. Data of surgical activity has been analysed.During the 9 weeks of lockdown the access of patients to ED drastically decreased: 11726 accesses compared to 21501 in the same period of 2019. This trend was followed by the most common skeletal injuries but not by proximal femur fracture (PFF) that showed the same absolute numbers compare to the previous years (64 vs 63). If analysed in relation to the total ED access, PFF showed a relatively increase in their frequency.The data from this experience suggest that healthcare providers should strategically allocate resources for management and treatment of PFF during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the begin of the reopening phase, a "rebound effect" for orthopaedic care was observed leading to delayed treatments with a potential overall increased morbidity.


Subject(s)
Femur/injuries , Fractures, Bone/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Fractures, Bone/surgery , Hospitalization , Hospitals, University , Humans , Italy , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
20.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 400-406, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068164

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: scientific literature indicates that there are sex, and gender differences in the development, symptomatology and evolution of different diseases, in the response to drugs and in the therapeutic pathways. Even in the COVID-19 epidemic some sex/gender differences emerged. OBJECTIVES: to analyze COVID-19 epidemic data by gender and age in Italy, Germany, Spain, and Sweden, characterized by having implemented different pandemic containment policies, with the aim of observing any characteristics that can be interpreted with the lens of sex/gender differences. MATERIALS AND METHODS: we used confirmed cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 for Italy, Spain, Germany, and Sweden from respective national surveillance databases. Mortality data for Italy were also analysed. The period of investigation was March-May 2020. As indicators, we used the case fatality ratio adjusted for time delay and SMR for mortality. RESULTS: women are more vulnerable to COVID- 19 infection in the 30-60-year age group. Case fatality ratio is higher in men than women, with a ratio men/women equal to 1.7 in Italy, Spain, and Sweden and 1,4 in Germany. The ratio increases in the lower age groups. The analysis of the mortality data observed/expected in Italy in the same period with respect to 2015-2019 shows a comparable excess with SMR equal to 132 for men and 127 for women. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 affects both genders with some differences in the incidence, higher in women, and lethality, higher in men. These differences highlight the need to better understand the sex/gender and age interaction both for epidemiological surveillance and for a better gender-appropriateness of the ongoing prophylactic and therapeutic treatments. This would be possible if all health indicators (symptoms, past illnesses, primary and hospital-level health care, hospitalization, etc.) were provided by age and gender. Analysis of the causes of death could help to better understand the increase in mortality for both genders, in particular for women, for whom a lower lethality for COVID-19 appears from data.


Subject(s)
/mortality , Pandemics , Sex Distribution , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cause of Death , Child , Child, Preschool , Databases, Factual , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality/trends , Quarantine , Spain/epidemiology , Sweden/epidemiology , Time Factors , Young Adult
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