Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità]]> http://www.scielosp.org/rss.php?pid=0021-257120130004&lang=es vol. 49 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielosp.org/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielosp.org <![CDATA[<b>Humans as donors and producers of biological material</b>: <b>some ethical considerations on a thin red line</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>Detention and incompatibility of HIV patients in Italy</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In Italy, Law 231/99 and subsequent amendments standardize the conditions allowing or not a HIV positive inmate to remain in jail. Currently such clinical conditions are not automatically associated with the decline of preventive detention and the Court evaluates the incompatibility with detention on the basis of two additional and independent criteria. We have been observing the tendency by jailed HIV-positive patients to manipulate the disease state believing that the rules of incompatibility with the prison system are always applied. The management of HIV positive patients in jail involves significant sanitary and relational efforts, particularly for those suffering AIDS and/or with severe immunodeficiency. <![CDATA[<b>Post-operative hospitalization in retinal detachment correlation to recurrences</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es PURPOSE: To evaluate relationships between the incidence of re-detachment and postoperative days of hospitalization in patients with diagnosis of retinal detachment (RD) who underwent surgery either through ab-externo approach (scleral buckling and encircling) or ab-interno approach (vitrectomy and oil-gas tamponade). METHODS: This retrospective study included 268 patients (268 eyes) with diagnosis of primary RD: 127 males (47%) and 141 (53%) females, mean age of 64.1 ± 17.3 years. 46 patients (17%) underwent a surgical ab-externo approach (group A), while 222 patients (83%) underwent an ab-interno surgical approach. Each RD was graded according to the "Retinal detachment grading system of Royal College of Ophthalmologists" and treated within 5 days after diagnosis. The redetachment (RT) related to a surgical failure was considered within 30 days after first operation. RESULTS: In the group 1 without night hospitalization (day surgery) global RT rate was 3.5% (4.17% for ab-interno technique and 0% for ab-externo techniques). In the group 2 with one day of hospitalization global RT rate was 1.33% (1.49% for ab-interno technique and 0% for ab-externo techniques). In the group 3 with 2 days of hospitalization global RT rate was 3.80% (4.62% for ab-interno techniques and 0% for ab-externo techniques). In the group 4 with 3 or more days of hospitalization global RT rate was 12.28% (14.29% for ab-interno techniques for 6.67% ab-externo techniques). The incidence of RT in group 1, day surgery, is comparable to the other groups and it is less compared to group 4 (3 or more days of hospitalization). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of retinal redetachment (RRD) is not increased in day surgery mode. These data support outpatient management of RD patients to reduce medical cost and problems related to the hospitalization. Further studies are needed for patients' security. <![CDATA[<b>Dietary habits and growth</b>: <b>an urban/rural comparison in the Andean region of Apurimac, Peru</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es INTRODUCTION: The efficacy of interventions against children malnutrition crucially depends on a myriad of factors other than the simple food intake, that must be carefully studied in order to plan a balanced policy. The relation between dietary patterns and growth is at the very heart of the problem, especially in consideration of the fact that dietary pattern involves dimension other than pure caloric intake in its definition. In this work we investigated the relations between dietary pattern and growth comparing children from a rural and a urban area in Andean Peru, in terms of food habits and anthropometric variables to develop a model usable in context interventions against malnutrition. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A sample of 159 children (80 from urban, 79 from rural area), aged from 4 to 120 months (72.7 ± 37.5 SD) was collected. The data were investigated by a multidimensional (principal component analysis followed by inferential approach) analysis to correlate the different hidden dimensions of both anthropometric and dietary observables. The correlation between these dimensions (in the form of principal components) were computed and contrasted with the effects of age and urban/rural environments. RESULTS: Caloric intake and growth were not linearly correlated in our data set. Moreover urban and rural environment were demonstrated to show very different patterns of both dietary and anthropometric variables pointing to the marked effect of dietary habits and demographic composition of the analyzed populations. The relation between malnutrition and overweight was at the same time demonstrated to follow a strict area dependent distribution. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: We gave a proof-of-concept of the non-linear character of the relation between malnutrition (in terms of caloric intake) and growth, pointing to the need to calibrate interventions on food pattern and not only quantity to contrast malnutrition effects on growth. The education toward a balanced diet must go hand-inhand with the intervention on caloric intake in order to prevent effects on health. <![CDATA[<b>Ethics in public health surveillance</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Public health programmes pose some very important ethical problems. One of the most pressing is the possible conflict between individual interests (and rights) and collective interests, which becomes particularly important in the public health surveillance setting. The present article first looks at the definitions of "public health surveillance" in a historical context and then identifies the key ethical problems that are raised. These reveal the differences - and sometimes deviations - between the bioethical issues typically encountered in a clinical setting and those that prevail in a public health context. Human rights are suggested as a possible common ground between the two. The article then draws on the specialised literature to indicate tools and checklists to help evaluate the ethical acceptability of public health surveillance programmes. It concludes with a description of the key criteria underlying these tools and checklists. <![CDATA[<b>Cohort study of residents of a district with soil and groundwater industrial waste contamination</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es INTRODUCTION: A neighbourhood of the city of Ferrara (Italy) was built over an area polluted with chlorinated organic compounds. A residential cohort study was performed to assess the health profile of the population living in the polluted area. METHODS: The residential history of 3475 subjects who had lived in the East quadrant neighbourhood in the period 1994-2010 was constructed. Mortality for the period 19942010 and cancer incidence for the years 1994-2007 were studied. Standardised mortality ratios (SMR) for 2632 subjects and standardised incidence ratios (SIR) for 2578 subjects who had lived for at least 5 years in the area under study were calculated. Indicators were calculated for males and females combined, using the population of Ferrara as reference population. RESULTS: The health profile of the population of the East quadrant neighbourhood, defined using mortality indicators for major groups of causes, is essentially similar to that of the city of Ferrara. Increased mortality rates for lung cancer (SMR 131, 90% CI 94-178) and incidence rates for some cancer sites, including liver (SIR 135, 90% CI 67-243) were observed, albeit on the basis of few cases and with wide confidence intervals. DISCUSSION: The likelihood of observing significant increases in risk is reduced by the sizes of the cohorts and the short follow-up period, but some findings nonetheless suggest that, as a precautionary measure, the cohort study should be continued in parallel with measures for the reclamation of the site and that this study should take the form of epidemiological surveillance. <![CDATA[<b>Can reinforcement-based interventions to reduce drug use successfully be adapted to routine opioid maintenance treatment?</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es INTRODUCTION: Comorbid substance related disorders are a major health problem for patients in opioid maintenance treatment (OMT). It was investigated whether a reinforcement scheme adapted to the regulatory and financial restrictions of routine treatment reduces concomitant drug use. METHODS: OMT patients from 7 clinics who were using cocaine, benzodiazepines, heroin or amphetamines were randomly allocated to either treatment as usual (n = 64) or treatment with an additional escalating reinforcement scheme (n = 72) in which a patient's number of weekly take-home dosages was increased after 1, 4, 8 and 12 consecutive weeks with drug-free urine specimens. Trial duration was 26 weeks. RESULTS: Completion rates were 64% for controls and 62.5% in the experimental group. Mean number of drug-free weeks was 11.3 (SD 8.5) for the control group and 9.8 (8.9) for the experimental group (p = 0.30). CONCLUSION: The intervention was not effective compared to routine treatment. Additional features might be necessary to achieve an effect, e.g. a higher frequency of urine sampling or use of other reinforcers. It has to be further investigated how interventions which have been proven effective in experimental studies can successfully be adapted to routine care conditions. <![CDATA[<b>The relationship between personality traits and anxiety/depression levels in different drug abusers' groups</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es AIM: Since psychosocial characteristics of drug abuse involve mainly specific personality and emotional changes, it is very important to investigate characteristics of addictive personality in relationship with emotional state of the individual. Considering that, the objective of this study was to analyse the relationship between personality structure and emotional state of two different groups: heroin addicts and recreate drug abusers. METHODS: The total of 288 (219 males and 69 females; 191 heroin addicts and 97 recreate drug users) clients of Centre for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse in Rijeka completed Eysenck's Personality Questionnaire (EPQ R/A), Beck's Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI). Their average age was 22. RESULTS: In the group of heroin addicts, higher levels of anxiety and depression were significantly correlated with higher levels of psychoticism, neuroticism, criminality and addiction. In the group of recreate drug users, higher extraversion and social conformity were determined. Furthermore, in the first group was found even higher depression. However when the anxiety level was compared between these two groups, there was no significant difference. CONCLUSION: Overall, the findings implied that the used measurement instruments could serve as the useful diagnostic tools that could ensure advantageous treatment directions. <![CDATA[<b>Characteristics of neonatal GBS disease during a multicentre study (2007-2010) and in the year 2012</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es INTRODUCTION: The characteristics of Group B Streptococcal (GBS) early onset (EOD) and late onset (LOD) neonatal infections in Italy were analyzed. Two periods were considered, a first 3-years period (2007-2010), when notification of GBS infections was enforced under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Health, and a second 1 year period (2012) when reporting on neonatal GBS disease continued on voluntary basis. METHODS: A standardized form was used to collect data on cases of neonatal GBS disease. They included both maternal and neonatal data. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The two surveys underlined that preterm deliveries, precipitous labor and negatively GBS screened mothers are common causes of EOD occurrence, possibly explained by inadequate, or lack of, intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis. Nevertheless, measures for reducing prevention failures and EOD incidence by an higher adherence to prevention strategies, as the Centre for Disease Control recommendations, are still possible and should be encouraged. <![CDATA[<b>Epidemiology of home injuries</b>: <b>a large observational study among adult mothers in Italy</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es AIMS: The aims of the study were to describe the epidemiology of home injuries (HI) among Italian students' mothers and to identify the possible predictors of having HI. METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was used in several Italian schools. In order to identify predictors of having HI, a multivariate analysis was performed. RESULTS: In our sample (3,610 women), the prevalence of HI was 18%; 6.2% of the interviewed had a severe HI. The multivariate analyses showed that increasing age, to spend more than 13 hours a day at home and to be housewife are risk factors for having HI. CONCLUSIONS: This study reports a high prevalence of HI, highlighting an urgent need for undertaking interventions to develop an adequate culture of safety and prevention. <![CDATA[<b>NGF and BDNF long-term variations in the thyroid, testis and adrenal glands of a mouse model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es OBJECTIVES: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) due to prenatal ethanol consumption may induce long-lasting changes to the newborns affecting also the endocrine system and the nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling. Thus the aim of this study was to investigate in the thyroid, testis and adrenal glands of a FASD mouse model the long-lasting effects of ethanol exposure during pregnancy and lactation on NGF and BDNF and their main receptors, TrkA and TrkB, including their phosphorylated patterns. METHODS: We used aged male CD-1 mice early exposed to ethanol solution or red wine at same ethanol concentration (11% vol). RESULTS We found elevations in NGF and BDNF in the thyroid of aged mice exposed to ethanol solution only but not in the red wine group. In the testis NGF resulted to be increased only in the ethanol solution group. In the adrenal glands data showed an elevation in NGF in both the ethanol solution group and red wine. No changes in TrkA, TrkB, phospho-TrkA and phospho-TrkB were revealed in all tissues examined. CONCLUSIONS Early administration of ethanol may induce long-lasting changes in the mouse thyroid, testis and adrenal glands at NGF and BDNF levels. <![CDATA[<b>Lessons learnt from a birthday party</b>: <b>a Bacillus cereus outbreak, Bari, Italy, January 2012</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es INTRODUCTION: Bacillus cereus, a ubiquitous bacterium, can be isolated in various starchy food items, causing both emetic and diarrhoeal disease. The real burden of B. cereus outbreaks is actually poorly known in Italy. We report a B. cereus foodborne outbreak that occurred in a pub in Bari (Italy) on January 22nd 2012 during a birthday party, promptly reported by the pub owner. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between January 22nd and 24th 2012, we performed a retrospective cohort study among the guests of the party to identify risk factors associated with illness. Leftovers of different meals were available for microbiological analysis. Faecal specimens were collected from cases. RESULTS: A total of 12 cases among the 13 customers (attack rate: 92%) were reported. All cases had consumed basmati rice and sweet and sour vegetables (aetiological fraction: 100%). B. cereus was isolated from both basmati rice served during the party and faecal specimens. DISCUSSION: The close collaboration between the pub owner and the public health officers and the possibility to test food leftovers and stool samples contributed to prevent further cases. <![CDATA[<b>Referral patterns in elderly emergency department visits</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es OBJECTIVE: To assess elderly individuals' demand for emergency department (ED) care, in terms of the characteristics, processes, outcomes, costs by referral pattern. DATA SOURCE: All ED visits involving patients aged 65 and older, extracted from the 2010 dataset of an Local Health Agency, in North-Eastern Italy (no. = 18 648). STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Patients were referred by primary care professionals (PCPs) in 43.1% of cases, 1.4% came from nursing homes (NH), and 55.5% were self-referred (SR). The SR group had a higher adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for non-urgent conditions (1.98 CI 1.85-2.12), but a lower aOR for conditions amenable to ambulatory care (0.53 CI 0.48-0.59), and a lower consumption of resources. The SR group tend to occur more frequently out of hours, and to coincide with a shorter stay at the ED, lower observation unit activation rates, lower hospitalization rates and a lower consumption of services than other two groups. The average costs for all procedures were lower for the SR patients (mean = 106.04 € ± SD 84.90 €) than for those referred by PCPs (mean = 138.14 € ± SD 101.17 €) or NH (mean = 143.48 € ± SD 95.28 €). CONCLUSION: Elderly patients coming in ED have different characteristics, outcomes and recourses consume by referral pattern. <![CDATA[<b>Bupropion perceived as a stimulant by two patients with a previous history of cocaine misuse</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Despite animal studies having shown a generalisation of the bupropion cue to cocaine, this drug has been used in cocaine abuse with mixed results. We here aimed at describing two cases which contradict current knowledge. CASE REPORTS: We describe two cases of former cocaine abusers who reported a cocaine-like sensation upon taking bupropion. Bupropion improved patients' depression without any increase in cocaine craving. One of the patients increased without doctor consultation his dose on an as needed basis. CONCLUSIONS: The issue of bupropion cue generalisation to cocaine needs further elucidation. People with past cocaine addiction need to be informed on the potential of bupropion to elicit cocaine-like cues and be invited to adhere to medical prescription, because bupropion has been associated with fatalities in some cases. <![CDATA[<b>Promotion of mental health in children of parents with a mental disorder</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Mental disorders are associated with many difficulties in the activities of daily living, work, relationships and family, and they determine high social and economic costs that represent an important public health problem. The literature has shown that children of parents with mental disorders grow up in environments that are potentially harmful to their mental health and are at risk of neglect and maltreatment. Interventions to prevent mental disorders and psychological symptoms of children of parents with mental disorders are effective but supporting these families is a complex task which requires both cooperation between departments and an interdisciplinary knowledge. A greater knowledge of the responses provided to assist families with dependent children and a mentally ill parent, could stimulate reflections on critical issues and government actions aimed at promoting and protecting the mental health of children. <![CDATA[<b>Between altruism and commercialisation</b>: <b>some ethical aspects of blood donation</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Numerous documents (declarations, codes, recommendations, guidelines) issued by eminent institutions recommend that the donation of blood should be voluntary and unremunerated. This does not preclude the possibility: 1) that donors receive some form of reimbursement; 2) that subsequent procedures, which inevitably incur costs, may involve considerable financial activity; 3) that legislation in some nations may allow trade in certain types of human biological material; 4) that voluntarily donated human blood be used to derive products that are subsequently marketed. The present article highlights some of the contradictions generated by these considerations and affirms that they do not undermine the primary duty to uphold the voluntary nature of donation. http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Numerous documents (declarations, codes, recommendations, guidelines) issued by eminent institutions recommend that the donation of blood should be voluntary and unremunerated. This does not preclude the possibility: 1) that donors receive some form of reimbursement; 2) that subsequent procedures, which inevitably incur costs, may involve considerable financial activity; 3) that legislation in some nations may allow trade in certain types of human biological material; 4) that voluntarily donated human blood be used to derive products that are subsequently marketed. The present article highlights some of the contradictions generated by these considerations and affirms that they do not undermine the primary duty to uphold the voluntary nature of donation. <![CDATA[<b>Publications from international organizations on Public HealtH</b>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0021-25712013000400018&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Numerous documents (declarations, codes, recommendations, guidelines) issued by eminent institutions recommend that the donation of blood should be voluntary and unremunerated. This does not preclude the possibility: 1) that donors receive some form of reimbursement; 2) that subsequent procedures, which inevitably incur costs, may involve considerable financial activity; 3) that legislation in some nations may allow trade in certain types of human biological material; 4) that voluntarily donated human blood be used to derive products that are subsequently marketed. The present article highlights some of the contradictions generated by these considerations and affirms that they do not undermine the primary duty to uphold the voluntary nature of donation.