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1.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45(4): 230-236, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622958
2.
Ann Lab Med ; 42(3): 321-330, 2022 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613542

ABSTRACT

Background: A bibliometric analysis of the Annals of Laboratory Medicine (ALM) was performed to understand its position in the medical laboratory technology category and to suggest a developmental strategy. Methods: Journal metrics, including the number of articles by publication type, country of authors, total citations, 2-year impact factor, country of cited authors, journals citing ALM, and Hirsch-index, were obtained from the Journal Citation Report and Web of Science Core Collection. Target data included ALM content in the Web of Science from January 1, 2012, to October 5, 2021. Bibliometric analysis was performed using Biblioshiny. Results: The impact factor increased from 1.481 in 2013 to 3.464 in 2020. Authors belonging to the USA, China, and Korea cited ALM articles the most. Plos One, Scientific Reports, and Frontiers in Microbiology most frequently cited ALM, besides ALM itself. The Hirsch-index was 34. The co-occurrence network of Keyword Plus indicated four clusters: diagnosis, identification, prevalence, and risk. The conceptual structure map of Keyword Plus based on multiple correspondence analysis showed two clusters: bacterial susceptibility at the bench and clinical courses. The co-citation network showed that ALM was in the cluster of the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, JAMA, and the Annals of Internal Medicine. The collaboration network showed that Korean authors collaborated mainly with authors from the USA, Germany, and Italy. Conclusions: The journal's promotion to an international top-tier journal has been successful. "Principles of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing" and a preprint policy are yet to be added.


Subject(s)
Leadership , Medical Laboratory Science , Bibliometrics , Humans , Italy , Laboratories
3.
Ital J Pediatr ; 48(1): 1, 2022 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613246

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of allergic sensitization seems to be protective against SARS CoV2 infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate, using online surveys, the impact of COVID-19 on Italian allergic children, comparing the prevalence of AR and asthma symptoms between the first and second pandemic wave. METHODS: Both surveys were emailed to Italian pediatricians in April 2020 (first survey) and in March 2021 (second survey). The first one was related to the impact of COVID-19 and the most frequently reported symptoms. The second one was superimposed on the previous one, taking into account some additional aspects in the management of disease. RESULTS: A total of 99 pediatricians participated in the first survey and 267 in the second one. The first survey showed that, asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis prevalence was mostly between 0 and 20% throughout the country. The second survey showed a lower prevalence of both diseases nationwide in comparison to the first one. Comparing the two surveys, statistically significant differences were reported only in the distribution of asthma prevalence in Southern Italy while no differences were highlighted in the North and in the Center. Finally regarding allergic rhinoconjunctivitis prevalence, no differences were noticed nationwide. CONCLUSIONS: Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma, if under control, did not represent risk factors for the susceptibility to SARS CoV2. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to continue therapies during COVID-19 outbreak, according to the international guidelines. However, being COVID-19 a new disease, actual knowledge will undergo continuous improvements over time.


Subject(s)
Asthma/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Conjunctivitis, Allergic/epidemiology , Rhinitis, Allergic/epidemiology , Asthma/complications , Child , Conjunctivitis, Allergic/complications , Humans , Italy , Prevalence , Rhinitis, Allergic/complications , Risk Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45: In press, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605000

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, specific characteristics of the infected subjects appeared to be associated with a severe disease, leading to hospitalization or death. OBJECTIVES: to evaluate the association between three components of the metabolic syndrome (diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia, and hypertension), alone and in combination, and risk of hospitalization in subjects with nasopharyngeal swab-confirmed COVID-19. DESIGN: cohort study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: the study subjects were all COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the area of the Agency for Health Protection of the Metropolitan Area of Milan (Lombardy Region, Northern Italy) between 10.02.2020 and 25.04.2020, whose data were gathered with an ad hoc information system developed at the beginning of the pandemic. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: the association between metabolic syndrome components (alone and in combination) and hospitalization (both in any ward and in intensive care unit) was measured by means of cause-specific Cox models with gender, age, and comorbidities as potential confounders. RESULTS: the cohort included 15,162 subjects followed from diagnosis up to 20.07.2020. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) of hospitalization in any ward estimated by the Cox model were 1.26 for uncomplicated diabetes mellitus (95%CI 1.18-1.34); 1.21 for complicated diabetes mellitus (95%CI 1.05-1.39); 1.07 for dyslipidaemia (95%CI 1.00-1.14); and 1.11 for hypertension (95%CI 1.05-1.17). When all components coexisted in the same subject, the HR was 1.46 (95%CI 1.31-1.62). A significant increase in risk of hospitalization in intensive care unit was found for uncomplicated diabetes mellitus (HR 1.38; 95%CI 1.15-1.66). CONCLUSIONS: this population-based study confirms that metabolic syndrome components increase the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19. The HR increases in an additive manner when the three components are simultaneously present.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Metabolic Syndrome , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Metabolic Syndrome/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45: In press, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607585

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to present an evaluation of the campaign for vaccination against COVID-19 in the territory covered by the Agency for Health Protection of the Metropolitan Area of Milan from 01.01.2021 to 30.09.2021. DESIGN: descriptive study of vaccine adherence; predictive study of the factors associated with vaccine adherence, efficacy of vaccination in terms of hospitalization and mortality, and factors that increase the risk of hospital admission following full vaccination. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: population-based study with subjects aged >18 years eligible for vaccination (N. 2,981,997). An information system obtained by integrating various administrative healthcare sources made it possible to analyse socioeconomic characteristics, COVID-19 related hospitalizations, and general mortality in subjects eligible for vaccination. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: full vaccination (2 doses); COVID-19-related hospitalizations, COVID-19-related hospitalizations occurring more than 15 days after the second dose, general mortality. RESULTS: in the first nine months of the vaccination campaign, 74.7% of the subjects (N. 2,228,915) was fully vaccinated, whereas 15.6% (N. 465,829) did not even receive one dose. Women have a lower probability of getting vaccinated than men; the 50-59 years and 70+ years age groups emerge as the most problematic to reach, while the younger one (<40) is the most adherent. A social gradient emerged, with residents of more disadvantaged areas progressively less incline to get vaccinated than those living in more affluent areas. Adherence is greater in Italian citizenship and is likely to increase with an increase in the number of chronic conditions. Hospitalizations amounted to 1.22% (N. 5,672) in the unvaccinated population compared to 0.05% (N. 1,013) in the vaccinated population; general mortality was 4.51% (N. 15,198) in the unvaccinated population against 0.32% (N. 8.733) in the vaccinated population. Sociodemographic factors and the presence of previous health conditions are important predictors of hospitalization outcomes even within the fully vaccinated population. Specifically, the highest hazard ratios are found in subjects with heart failure (HR 2.15; 95%CI 1.83-2.53), in immunocompromised patients (HR 2.02; 95%CI 1.52-2.69), and in transplant recipients (HR 1.92; 95%CI 1.10-3.33). CONCLUSIONS: vaccination campaign adherence is affected by the sociodemographic characteristics of the population and is a determining factor in preventing hospitalizations for COVID-19 and death. The persistent higher risk of hospitalization in chronic subjects following the second dose emphasizes the need to direct booster doses to the more vulnerable. Information systems proved to be effective monitoring tools in the absence of specific trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Immunization Programs , Italy/epidemiology , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
6.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e054069, 2022 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606566

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The first COVID-19-19 epidemic wave was over the period of February-May 2020. Since 1 October 2020, Italy, as many other European countries, faced a second wave. The aim of this analysis was to compare the 28-day mortality between the two waves among COVID-19 hospitalised patients. DESIGN: Observational cohort study. Standard survival analysis was performed to compare all-cause mortality within 28 days after hospital admission in the two waves. Kaplan-Meier curves as well as Cox regression model analysis were used. The effect of wave on risk of death was shown by means of HRs with 95% CIs. A sensitivity analysis around the impact of the circulating variant as a potential unmeasured confounder was performed. SETTING: University Hospital of Modena, Italy. Patients admitted to the hospital for severe COVID-19 pneumonia during the first (22 February-31 May 2020) and second (1 October-31 December 2020) waves were included. RESULTS: During the two study periods, a total of 1472 patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia were admitted to our hospital, 449 during the first wave and 1023 during the second. Median age was 70 years (IQR 56-80), 37% women, 49% with PaO2/FiO2 <250 mm Hg, 82% with ≥1 comorbidity, median duration of symptoms was 6 days. 28-day mortality rate was 20.0% (95% CI 16.3 to 23.7) during the first wave vs 14.2% (95% CI 12.0 to 16.3) in the second (log-rank test p value=0.03). After including key predictors of death in the multivariable Cox regression model, the data still strongly suggested a lower 28-day mortality rate in the second wave (aHR=0.64, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.90, p value=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In our hospitalised patients with COVID-19 with severe pneumonia, the 28-day mortality appeared to be reduced by 36% during the second as compared with the first wave. Further studies are needed to identify factors that may have contributed to this improved survival.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy/epidemiology , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers
7.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262319, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606225

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures to counteract it have highlighted the role of individual differences in evaluating and reacting to emergencies, and the challenges inherent in promoting precautionary behaviours. We aimed to explore the psychological and cognitive factors modulating behaviour and intentions during the national lockdown in Italy. We administered an online questionnaire (N = 244) that included tests for assessing personality traits (Temperament and Character Inventory; Locus of Control of Behaviour) and moral judgment (Moral Foundations Questionnaire), alongside behavioural economics tasks addressing different facets of risk attitude (loss aversion, risk aversion and delay discounting). We then assessed the extent to which individual variations in these dimensions modulated participants' compliance with the lockdown norms. When assessing their joint contribution via multiple regressions, lockdown adherence was mostly predicted by internal locus of control, psycho-economic dimensions suggestive of long-sighted and loss-averse attitudes, as well as personality traits related to cautionary behaviour, such as harm avoidance, and the authority moral concern. These findings show that a multi-domain assessment of the factors underlying personal intentions, and thus driving compliance with government measures, can help predict individuals' actions during health emergencies. This evidence points to factors that should be considered when developing interventions and communication strategies to promote precautionary behaviours.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control , Adult , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Personality , Risk , Risk Assessment , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Front Public Health ; 9: 724362, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604952

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an intense debate about the hidden factors underlying the dynamics of the outbreak. Several computational models have been proposed to inform effective social and healthcare strategies. Crucially, the predictive validity of these models often depends upon incorporating behavioral and social responses to infection. Among these tools, the analytic framework known as "dynamic causal modeling" (DCM) has been applied to the COVID-19 pandemic, shedding new light on the factors underlying the dynamics of the outbreak. We have applied DCM to data from northern Italian regions, the first areas in Europe to contend with the outbreak, and analyzed the predictive validity of the model and also its suitability in highlighting the hidden factors governing the pandemic diffusion. By taking into account data from the beginning of the pandemic, the model could faithfully predict the dynamics of outbreak diffusion varying from region to region. The DCM appears to be a reliable tool to investigate the mechanisms governing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 to identify the containment and control strategies that could efficiently be used to counteract further waves of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45: In press, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597567

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to assess the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in a sample of Italian citizens during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave and its association with sociodemographic characteristics, housing conditions, and lifestyles modifications. DESIGN: cross-sectional survey. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: between 21st April and 7th June 2020, a self-administered online questionnaire aiming at investigating mental well-being and lifestyle habits during the lockdown period was disseminated online. Respondents were recruited through a snowball sampling. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: PTSD symptoms were assessed using a validated screening tool, the SPAN (Startle, Physiological arousal, Anger, Numbness) questionnaire. RESULTS: the study population is composed of 6,687 participants, of whom 71.5% were females. The mean age of the sample was 48.7 years. Globally, 43.8% of the participants reported symptoms of PTSD, especially females. PTSD prevalence showed a decreasing trend across age groups. The likelihood of PTSD symptoms was higher among those who increased alcohol consumption, decreased physical activity, and experienced restless sleep. CONCLUSIONS: a high prevalence of PTSD symptoms emerged from this survey, especially among women and younger subjects. Preventive strategies should be implemented to protect the mental health of the most vulnerable citizens in a period of emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology
10.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45: In press, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593216

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: 'Scuola sicura' (SS) programme aims to monitor the rate of COVID-19 and to contain its spread within the school population through early case isolation. OBJECTIVES: to describe the initial process and outcome evaluation results. DESIGN: descriptive study of an experimental screening testing programme in children in Piedmont Region (Northern Italy) in the period January-March 2021. The data used came from the COVID-19 platform and the Local Health Units, the archives of birth certificates (CedAP), and hospital discharge files (SDO). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: the screening programme targeted second and third grade students in first level secondary schools. Participants were subdivided into four groups; one group each week underwent screening, yielding one test per student per month. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: it was calculated: 1. number of positive cases detected vs total number of students tested in the SS programme; 2. number of positive cases detected outside the SS program vs. total number of students in the target population. The number of quarantines due to SS and no-SS case identification were detected. To investigate the spread of COVID-19 in households, the mother-child pairs were identified through record linkage between the CedAP and SDO archives, and positive mothers were identified. RESULTS: sixty-nine percent of schools and 19.5% of the students participated in the programme. SS detected 114 positives cases for SARS-CoV-2. On 08.03.2021, the target classes started distance learning: 69 of the 114 positive students were identified before that date, leading to the activation of 67 quarantine measures. Only for 61 out of 69 of those students (88%) was possible to identify the mother; 46 mothers had performed a swab test after the positivity of their child with a positive result in 11 cases. Asymptomatic cases identified at screening during in-class learning period accounted for 26.5% of the total number of cases occurred in the participating classes. CONCLUSIONS: this is one of the few studies (and the first in Italy) to describe the functioning and predictive capacity of school screening testing for SARS-CoV-2 in a real-world situation. The findings provide data-driven suggestions for government agencies when planning large-scale school screening testing programmes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Students
11.
Front Biosci (Elite Ed) ; 13(2): 259-271, 2021 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599551

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the study was to analyze the frequency of the spontaneous posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) in patients admitted to an Emergency Eye Department in Italy (EED) during the COVID-19 pandemic national lockdown in 2020 compared with the similar time period in 2019. In this retrospective observational study, patient records for ophthalmology EED patients in the month of April 2020 during the COVID-19 Italian national lockdown, were compared with those for an equivalent one-month period in 2019. Diagnoses, gender, and age were assessed. Unpaired Student t-tests were used for continuous variables. Poisson regression was used for count analysis to compare categorical variables. Chi-square test was applied to asses proportion differences. In comparison with the 2019 equivalent period, there was a significant decrease in the overall number of EED visits and in the number of patients presenting with a spontaneous PVD during the 2020 lockdown (-41.6% and -49%, respectively). During the 2020 lockdown, all diagnostic categories showed less patient admittance, however, the proportions remained stable when considering the entire cohort. The proportion of urgent visits was 90% in 2020 and 86% in 2019 (p = 0.66). The proportion of EED patients affected by spontaneous PVD was comparable between the two study periods (8.4% in 2020 vs. 9.6% in 2019, p = 0.34). Patients presenting with spontaneous PVD in both periods were significantly older when compared to patients with other pathologies (mean age of 63years in 2020 and 64years in 2019, p < 0.001). There was a significant bias in female gender (61.2% in 2019 and 60% in 2020, p < 0.05). There was a significant decrease of accesses to the EED during COVID-19 2020 lockdown. Patients affected by spontaneous PVD were about 50% less compared with the same period of 2019. Risk factors for the development of spontaneous PVD were older age and female gender. PVD represents a potentially visual function threatening condition because it can cause retinal ruptures and retinal detachment. Patients need to be educated to get urgent ophthalmic assessments in the presence of important acute signs and symptoms, like floaters and flashes, even in the presence of a lockdown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Vitreous Detachment/diagnosis , Vitreous Detachment/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
12.
Med Lav ; 112(6): 422-428, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596969

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During major epidemic outbreaks, the preparedness of public health systems is challenged and -healthcare workers (HCWs) are at the frontline. Italy was among the first- and worst-hit countries by COVID-19. AIM: To analyze the prevalence and incidence of infection among HCWs in Friuli Venezia Giulia region (north-eastern Italy) from March 1 to the end of the Italian lock-down, May 10, 2020. METHODS: HCWs exposed to COVID-19 patients were actively surveyed and all HCWs were routinely tested with nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab for RNA virus detection (n. 54,670). RESULTS: Infected HCWs (n. 595) represented the 32.3% of all COVID-19 cases in the region under 65 years of age, and incidence of infection was 11.4 cases/1000 workers. HCWs accounted for a significant proportion of coronavirus infection and experienced high infection incidence after unprotected contact. CONCLUSIONS: HCWs' knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology and proper infection control practices are critical to the control of the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Communicable Disease Control , Health Personnel , Humans , Italy/epidemiology
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24467, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596771

ABSTRACT

Mobility restrictions are successfully used to contain the diffusion of epidemics. In this work we explore their effect on the epidemic growth by investigating an extension of the Susceptible-Infected-Removed (SIR) model in which individual mobility is taken into account. In the model individual agents move on a chessboard with a Lévy walk and, within each square, epidemic spreading follows the standard SIR model. These simple rules allow to reproduce the sub-exponential growth of the epidemic evolution observed during the Covid-19 epidemic waves in several countries and which cannot be captured by the standard SIR model. We show that we can tune the slowing-down of the epidemic spreading by changing the dynamics of the agents from Lévy to Brownian and we investigate how the interplay among different containment strategies mitigate the epidemic spreading. Finally we demonstrate that we can reproduce the epidemic evolution of the first and second COVID-19 waves in Italy using only 3 parameters, i.e , the infection rate, the removing rate, and the mobility in the country. We provide an estimate of the peak reduction due to imposed mobility restrictions, i. e., the so-called flattening the curve effect. Although based on few ingredients, the model captures the kinetic of the epidemic waves, returning mobility values that are consistent with a lock-down intervention during the first wave and milder limitations, associated to a weaker peak reduction, during the second wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Models, Theoretical , Movement , COVID-19/virology , Epidemics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
14.
Med Lav ; 112(6): 453-464, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595946

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare Workers (HCWs) are a key element in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are also at high risk of infection. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe, in a large university hospital which provided healthcare services to patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, the course of the epidemic among HCWs and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease. METHODS: Our case series included all "Fatebenefratelli Sacco" University Hospital workers. Data were collected until the 15th of May 2021 and analysed as part of the health surveillance program carried out by the Occupational Health Unit. RESULTS: From March 2020 until May 2021, 14.4% of workers contracted COVID-19, with the highest incidence peak recorded during the second wave of the pandemic. The prevalence of infection was slightly higher in males than in females, and a greater number of cases was found in job categories characterized by direct patient care activities. We reported a higher prevalence of "serious/critical illness" in elder workers. A clear reduction of COVID-19 incidence was found in our population during the third pandemic wave, that coincided with the start of vaccination campaign. DISCUSSION: HCWs have been at high risk of COVID-19 infection. Male sex and advanced age appear to be predisposing factor and negative prognostic factor respectively. An out-of-hospital setting appears to be the main source of COVID-19 confirming that the correct use of protective devices during work counters the risk of infection. Vaccination seems to reduce both documented cases of infection and severe illness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Med Sci Monit ; 27: e935379, 2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593238

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND This retrospective study aimed to investigate outcomes and hospitalization rates in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of early COVID-19 treated at home with prescribed and non-prescribed treatments. MATERIAL AND METHODS The medical records of a cohort of 158 Italian patients with early COVID-19 treated at home were analyzed. Treatments consisted of indomethacin, low-dose aspirin, omeprazole, and a flavonoid-based food supplement, plus azithromycin, low-molecular-weight heparin, and betamethasone as needed. The association of treatment timeliness and of clinical variables with the duration of symptoms and with the risk of hospitalization was evaluated by logistic regression. RESULTS Patients were divided into 2 groups: group 1 (n=85) was treated at the earliest possible time (<72 h from onset of symptoms), and group 2 (n=73) was treated >72 h after the onset of symptoms. Clinical severity at the beginning of treatment was similar in the 2 groups. In group 1, symptom duration was shorter than in group 2 (median 6.0 days vs 13.0 days, P<0.001) and no hospitalizations occurred, compared with 19.18% hospitalizations in group 2. One patient in group 1 developed chest X-ray alterations and 2 patients experienced an increase in D-dimer levels, compared with 30 and 22 patients, respectively, in group 2. The main factor determining the duration of symptoms and the risk of hospitalization was the delay in starting therapy (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS This real-world study of patients in the community showed that early diagnosis and early supportive patient management reduced the severity of COVID-19 and reduced the rate of hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aspirin/therapeutic use , Betamethasone/therapeutic use , Cohort Studies , Dietary Supplements , Early Diagnosis , Female , Flavonoids/therapeutic use , Follow-Up Studies , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Humans , Indomethacin/therapeutic use , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Omeprazole/therapeutic use , Patient Acuity , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Time , Treatment Outcome
16.
Med Lav ; 112(6): 414-421, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591099

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Italy was severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic with an excess of around 90,000 total deaths in 2020. Comparable data in 2021 are needed for monitoring the effects of the interventions adopted to control its spread and reduce the burden. This study estimates the excess mortality in Italy in the first eight months of 2021, with a focus on the working age population. METHODS: Excess mortality was estimated as difference between the number of registered deaths and the expected deaths. Expected deaths in March-December 2020 and January-August 2021 were estimated separately by sex, through an over-dispersed Poisson regression model using mortality and population data for the period 2011-2019 (before the Covid-19 outbreak). The models included terms for calendar year, age group, a smooth function of week of the year and the natural logarithm of the population as offset term.  Results: In the first eight months of 2021, we estimated 34,599 excess deaths (+7.9% of the expected deaths), of these 3667 were among individuals of working age (25-64 years). In this age group, mortality was 8.2% higher than expected with higher excesses among men (2972 deaths, +10.7%) than women (695 deaths, +4.1%). CONCLUSIONS: The excess deaths in the first eight months of 2021 account for about one third of that registered in 2020. Current data indicate that around 5000 excess deaths are expected by the end of the year, leading to a total excess for 2021 of around 40 thousand deaths. Despite the absence of influenza in January-March 2021, a relevant excess was also observed among the working age population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol ; 35: 20587384211059675, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582485

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The fully-human monoclonal anti-interleukin (IL)-1ß antibody canakinumab may inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the hyperinflammatory response potentially leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome. OBJECTIVES: The goal of our retrospective, observational analysis was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous (s.c.) canakinumab in combination with our standard of care (SOC) treatment of selected patients with COVID-19 with respiratory failure and elevated reactive pro-inflammatory markers. METHODS: Eight participants received two doses of s.c. canakinumab 150 mg (or 2 mg/kg for participants weighing ≤40 kg) in addition to SOC. 12 patients received only SOC treatment. RESULTS: Canakinumab treatment reduced the need for mechanical ventilation and reduced proinflammatory markers, resulting in an amelioration of the final outcome, with respect to the control group who received SOC alone. The treatment was safe and well tolerated; no adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: The use of canakinumab (300 mg, s.c.) in the early stage of COVID-19 with mild-to-moderate respiratory failure was superior to SOC at preventing clinical deterioration and may warrant further investigation as a treatment option for patients with COVID-19 who experience a hyperinflammatory response in the early stage of the disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19 , Interleukin-1beta , Respiration, Artificial , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Interleukin-1beta/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukin-1beta/immunology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Immunologic/methods , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Patient Selection , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment
18.
Front Immunol ; 12: 781843, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581326

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Vaccination against COVID-19 is highly recommended to patients affected by multiple sclerosis (MS); however, the impact of MS disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) on the immune response following vaccination has been only partially investigated. Here, we aimed to elucidate the effect of DMTs on the humoral immune response to mRNA-based anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in MS patients. Methods: We obtained sera from 912 Sardinian MS patients and 63 healthy controls 30 days after the second dose of BNT162b2 vaccine and tested them for SARS-CoV-2 response using anti-Spike (S) protein-based serology. Previous SARS-CoV-2 infection was assessed by anti-Nucleocapsid (N) serology. Patients were either untreated or undergoing treatment with a total of 13 different DMTs. Differences between treatment groups comprised of at least 10 patients were assessed by generalized linear mixed-effects model. Demographic and clinical data and smoking status were analyzed as additional factors potentially influencing humoral immunity from COVID-19 vaccine. Results: MS patients treated with natalizumab, teriflunomide, azathioprine, fingolimod, ocrelizumab, and rituximab showed significantly lower humoral responses compared to untreated patients. We did not observe a statistically significant difference in response between patients treated with the other drugs (dimethyl fumarate, interferon, alemtuzumab and glatiramer acetate) and untreated patients. In addition, older age, male sex and active smoking were significantly associated with lower antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2. MS patients previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher humoral responses to vaccine than uninfected patients. Conclusion: Humoral response to BNT162b2 is significantly influenced by the specific DMTs followed by patients, as well as by other factors such as previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, age, sex, and smoking status. These results are important to inform targeted strategies to prevent clinically relevant COVID-19 in MS patients.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/drug effects , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion/drug effects
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 Dec 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580850

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Italy, the under-30 age category was the one that joined the anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign in an important way. This study investigates the emotional states and motivations underlying joining the anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign. METHODS: A questionnaire consisting of SF-12, STAI Y, and open questions was administered to investigate the state of health, the state of anxiety, and motivational states of the participants. RESULTS: Of the sample, 80.7% were vaccinated at the first call, deeming the action important to combat the infection. However, 48.2% stated that they were quite worried about the problems related to the pandemic, 37.3% feared being directly infected, and 43.4% were worried about the health of relatives and friends. CONCLUSIONS: The positive impact that the vaccination campaign has had on the under-30 category is very significant for the immunization process, which is of fundamental importance for fighting the pandemic, so the "benefits" outweigh the "risks" related to the COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Emotions , Humans , Immunization Programs , Italy/epidemiology , Motivation , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vaccination
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2022 Jan 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580765

ABSTRACT

Following the pandemic scenario, researchers from all over the world, including Italians, have undertaken fervent research activity using the epidemiological data available on the sites of government and national and international research institutes. The objectives of our study were: (1) to analyze the load and trend of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, from the beginning to October 2021; (2) to analyze vaccination coverage by age groups and types of vaccines administered and check how the vaccination campaign has influenced the course of the disease and deaths; (3) to evaluate the Italian situation in the European context, comparing the incidence and mortality of Italy with respect to European countries; (4) finally, to evaluate how much vaccination coverage may have had an effect on mortality in the various European countries. Databases were structured to archive Italian and European COVID-19 data provided by Our World in Data, and data came from the Ministry of Health, to evaluate percentage of vaccines administered. The monthly trend of the cumulative incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the period January 2020-October 2021 was evaluated. It is important to underline 3 peaks of incidence and mortality rates that occurred during the three waves of COVID-19: March-April-May 2020, October-November-December 2020, and March-April-May 2021. There is a slight increase in incidence in August 2021 and in mortality in September 2021. The three mortality rate peaks, related to the three waves of COVID-19, are always higher in Italy than in Europe, particularly in April 2020, December 2020, and March 2021. From May 2021 to October 2021, the mortality trend reversed, and it turned out to be higher in Europe than in Italy. Regarding vaccination, Italy currently has an important coverage, not only in the most fragile population, where it exceeds 90%, but also in the 12-19 age group, with percentages above 65%. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was used widely in all age groups (first and second dose), with highest administration in 12-19 age groups and 80+, while the lowest was recorded in the 70-79 age group. In conclusion, these data confirm the importance of vaccination in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccination Coverage
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