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Rome, United States

Taruscio D.,Centro Nazionale Malattie Rare | Pierannunzio D.,Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia
BMC Neurology | Year: 2012

Background: This paper provides a strategy to obtain a reliable estimate of the incidence rate for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis based on data from the National Registry of Rare Diseases (NRRD). In fact, unobserved cases may be due to the fact that " a long time" may intercour between the suspect of having the disease (onset) and the date the disease is diagnosed. Potential factors that may influence the probability of experiencing the event (diagnosis) conditionally on the onset (suspected) are investigated. Since we are treating rare diseases, the role of social and economic factors is not that obvious; latent as well as observed factors may influence the delay to diagnosis.Methods: We use a semiparametric estimator based on the distribution of delay to diagnosis to account for potential underreporting. In particular, we propose to adopt an Horvitz-Thompson based estimator to correct the incidence figure that can be derived for the period 2007-2009 from the NRRD, Italy.Results: The incidence estimates obtained by adopting the proposed approach are about 1 case per 100000 inhabitants and despite they let recovering a good part of underreporting, they are still far from ALS incidence international ranges between 1.5 and 2.5. However, by looking only at northern Italy, the incidence estimates we can derive are coherent with those known internationally.Conclusions: These results confirm the existence of substantial differences in reporting accuracy, and point out where the system of data collection must be improved. In particular, when reliable individual characteristics will be available, they could be employed to refine the proposed estimator. © 2012 Rocchetti et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Lamberti A.,Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia | Spinelli A.,Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia | Baglio G.,Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia | Nardone P.,Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia | And 5 more authors.
Annali di igiene : medicina preventiva e di comunità | Year: 2010

In 2007 the Italian Ministry of Health/CCM promoted and funded the project "System of surveys of behavioral risks in ages 6-17", coordinated by the National Institute of Health. One of the aims of the project is the definition and implementation of a data collection system on the weight of primary school children, their eating habits, physical activity and school initiatives favoring the healthy growth of children, called "OKkio alla SALUTE". In 2008 the first survey of OKkio was conducted in 18 Italian regions. 45,590 third grade school children in 2610 classes participated. Information was collected from 2461 schools. The responses of the head teachers showed that 64% of the schools have a canteen, used by 70% of children. Only 12% of schools include the provision of a balanced mid-morning snack. Frequently there are educational activities related to physical activity and healthy eating that, in some cases, also involve the families of the children. 29% of the schools cannot guarantee two hours of physical activity as suggested by the school curriculum because of the lack or inadequacy of the gym or the structure of the timetables. The information gathered through the cooperation of school administrators, teachers and health workers, has helped to describe the major health educational activities of the school, that is confirmed to be the ideal venue for promoting healthy lifestyles in young people.

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