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Salvati L.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Guandalini A.,Italian National Institute of Statistics ISTAT | Carlucci M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Chelli F.M.,Marche Polytechnic University
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2017

The Human Development Index (HDI) based on life expectancy, education and per-capita income, is one of the most used indicators of human development. However, undeniable problems in data collection limit between-countries comparisons reducing the practical applicability of the HDI in official statistics. Elvidge et al. (2012) proposed an alternative index of human development (the so called Night Light Development Index, NLDI) derived from nighttime satellite imagery and population density, with improved comparability over time and space. The NLDI assesses inequality in the spatial distribution of night light among resident inhabitants and has proven to correlate with the HDI at the country scale. However, the NLDI presents some drawbacks, since similar NLDI values may indicate very different levels of human development. A modified NLDI overcoming such a drawback is proposed and applied to assessment of human development at 3 spatial scales (the entire country, 5 geographical divisions and 20 administrative regions) in Italy, a country with relevant territorial disparities in various socioeconomic dimensions. The original and modified NLDI were correlated with 5 independent indicators of economic growth, sustainable development and environmental quality. The spatial distribution of the original and modified NLDI is not coherent with the level of human development in Italy being indeed associated with various indexes of environmental quality. Further investigation is required to identify in which socioeconomic context (and at which spatial scale) the NDLI approach correctly estimates the level of human development in affluent countries. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Salvati L.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Munafo M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Munafo M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Morelli V.G.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 3 more authors.
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2012

This article contributes to the issue of urban sprawl in the Mediterranean region. The hypothesis illustrated here is that urban sprawl impacts directly on rural lands by triggering land cover changes (LCCs) and indirectly by fragmenting cropland and woodland patches and creating a mixed rural non farm landscape. This is mainly due to the diffusion of low-density settlements located progressively further away from the inner city. To verify this hypothesis we investigated the long-term LCCs (1960-2000) and the variation in density of buildings (1961-2001) in a large Mediterranean urban region (Rome, central Italy). The choice of our case study derives from the fact that Rome represents a paradigmatic example of semi-compact city evolving towards a dispersed urban form. A multidimensional approach was used to (i) identify the trajectories of LCCs, (ii) quantify diachronically the spatial distribution of low-density settlements, and (iii) evaluate the increase of building density within twelve basic land cover classes. We identified two axes of urban development: the former describes the urban-rural gradient determined by the traditionally compact and mono-centric spatial organization observed in the early 1960s in Rome; the latter illustrates the polycentric, dispersed urban expansion observed in the early 2000s. Taken together, our results point out the emergence of a sprawl process where low-density settlements impact on specific land uses (arable lands, olive groves, and woodlands). Finally, the article discusses the environmental implications of the polycentric model to the 'shrinking' Mediterranean cities. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | University of Rome La Sapienza, University of Padua and Italian National Institute of Statistics ISTAT
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Public understanding of science (Bristol, England) | Year: 2016

Public engagement is considered a crucial process in the transition towards sustainable energy systems. However, less space has been devoted to understand how policy makers and stakeholders view citizens and their relationship with energy issues. Nonetheless, together with technological advancements, policies and political debates on energy affect public engagement as well as individual practices. This article aims at tackling this issue by exploring how policy makers and stakeholders have socially constructed sustainable energy in Italian parliamentary debates and consultations during recent years (2009-2012). Results show that societal discourses on sustainable energy are oriented in a manner that precludes public engagement. The political debate is characterised by argumentative short-circuits that constrain individual and community actions to the acceptance or the refusal of top-down decisions and that leave little room for community empowerment and bottom-up innovation.


Fiori F.,University of St. Andrews | Rinesi F.,Italian National Institute of Statistics ISTAT | Pinnelli A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Prati S.,Italian National Institute of Statistics ISTAT
Population Research and Policy Review | Year: 2013

The present study addresses the issue of economic insecurity and its relationship with the reproductive plans of 5,358 Italian women in couples who have recently had their first child. Data were sourced from the ISTAT Sample Survey on Births, 2005 edition. This article's originality lies in the conceptualization of economic insecurity and the investigation of its effects on fertility intentions. We propose to capture economic insecurity by considering both the insecurity associated to the two partners' employment status and a variety of aspects that contribute to the household's ability to cope with possible unpredictable future events. Then, we investigate whether and how economic insecurity shapes the fertility intentions of women over their entire reproductive life span. With specific respect to women who intend to have one additional child only, we also observe the effect of economic insecurity on their intention to give birth sooner (i. e., within the next 3 years) or later. Our data show the existence of a critical factor in the passage from the generic fertility intentions to the contingent plan to have a child in the next 3 years: only half of women with one child who intend to follow the two-child family model feel ready to plan to have a second child in the next 3 years. The study also reinforces an argument that is frequently made: fertility intentions over the entire lifetime are less conditioned upon contingent constraints, and are often more closely related to individual traits and/or preferences. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Carreras G.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Gorini G.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Gallus S.,Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research | Iannucci L.,Italian National Institute of Statistics ISTAT | Levy D.T.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
European Journal of Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: Smoking prevalence in Italy decreased by 37 from 1980 to now. This is due to changes in smoking initiation and cessation rates and is in part attributable to the development of tobacco control policies. This work aims to estimate the age- and sex-specific smoking initiation and cessation probabilities for different time periods and to predict the future smoking prevalence in Italy, assuming different scenarios. Methods: A dynamic model describing the evolution of current, former and never smokers was developed. Cessation and relapse rates were estimated by fitting the model with smoking prevalence in Italy, 1986-2009. The estimated parameters were used to predict prevalence, according to scenarios: (1) 2000-09 initiation/cessation; (2) half initiation; (3) double cessation; (4) Scenarios 2+3; (5) triple cessation; and (6) Scenarios 2+5. Results: Maintaining the 2000-09 initiation/cessation, the 10 goal will not be achieved within next three decades: prevalence will stabilize at 12.1 for women and 20.3 for men. The goal could be rapidly achieved for women by halving initiation and tripling cessation (9.9, 2016), or tripling cessation only (10.4, 2017); for men halving initiation and tripling cessation (10.8, 2024), or doubling cessation and halving initiation (10.5, 2033), or tripling cessation only (10.8, 2033). Conclusion: The 10 goal will be achieved within the next few decades, mainly by increasing smoking cessation. Policies to reach this goal would include increasing cigarette taxes, introducing total reimbursement of smoking cessation treatment, with a further development of quitlines and smoking cessation services. These measures are not yet fully implemented in Italy. © 2011 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.


Carreras G.,ISPO Cancer Prevention and Research Institute | Gallus S.,Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research | Iannucci L.,Italian National Institute of Statistics ISTAT | Gorini G.,ISPO Cancer Prevention and Research Institute
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: No data on annual smoking cessation probability (i.e., the probability of successfully quit in a given year) are available for Italy at a population level. Mathematical models typically used to estimate smoking cessation probabilities do not account for smoking relapse. In this paper, we developed a mathematical model to estimate annual quitting probabilities, taking into account smoking relapse and time since cessation. Methods. We developed a dynamic model describing the evolution of current, former, and never smokers. We estimated probabilities of smoking cessation by fitting the model with observed smoking prevalence in Italy, 1986-2009. Results: Annual cessation probabilities were higher than 5% only in elderly persons and in women aged < 30 years, while in adults aged 30-49 and 50-59 cessations were about 2% and 3-5%, respectively. Most of quit probabilities stalled from 1986 to 2009. Conclusions: Over the last 20 years, cessation probabilities among Italian smokers, particularly for those aged 30-59 years, have been very low and stalled. Quitting in Italy is considered as a practicable strategy only by women in the age of pregnancy and by elderly persons, when its likely that symptoms of tobacco-related diseases have already appeared. In order to increase cessation probabilities, smoking cessation treatment policies (introducing total reimbursement of cessation treatments, with a further development of quitlines and smoking cessation services) should be empowered and a country-wide mass media campaign targeting smokers aged 30-59 years and focusing on promotion of quitting should be implemented. © 2012 Carreras et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Barcaroli G.,Italian National Institute of Statistics Istat
Journal of Statistical Software | Year: 2014

When designing a sampling survey, usually constraints are set on the desired precision levels regarding one or more target estimates (the Y 's). If a sampling frame is available, containing auxiliary information related to each unit (the X's), it is possible to adopt a stratified sample design. For any given stratification of the frame, in the multivariate case it is possible to solve the problem of the best allocation of units in strata, by minimizing a cost function subject to precision constraints (or, conversely, by maximizing the precision of the estimates under a given budget). The problem is to determine the best stratification in the frame, i.e., the one that ensures the overall minimal cost of the sample necessary to satisfy precision constraints. The X's can be categorical or continuous; continuous ones can be transformed into categorical ones. The most detailed stratification is given by the Cartesian product of the X's (the atomic strata). A way to determine the best stratification is to explore exhaustively the set of all possible partitions derivable by the set of atomic strata, evaluating each one by calculating the corresponding cost in terms of the sample required to satisfy precision constraints. This is unaffordable in practical situations, where the dimension of the space of the partitions can be very high. Another possible way is to explore the space of partitions with an algorithm that is particularly suitable in such situations: the genetic algorithm. The R package SamplingStrata, based on the use of a genetic algorithm, allows to determine the best stratification for a population frame, i.e., the one that ensures the minimum sample cost necessary to satisfy precision constraints, in a multivariate and multi-domain case. © 2014 American Statistical Association. All rights reserved.


Bruni R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Bianchi G.,Italian National Institute of Statistics Istat
IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering | Year: 2015

This work deals with the problem of producing a fast and accurate data classification, learning it from a possibly small set of records that are already classified. The proposed approach is based on the framework of the so-called Logical Analysis of Data (LAD), but enriched with information obtained from statistical considerations on the data. A number of discrete optimization problems are solved in the different steps of the procedure, but their computational demand can be controlled. The accuracy of the proposed approach is compared to that of the standard LAD algorithm, of support vector machines and of label propagation algorithm on publicly available datasets of the UCI repository. Encouraging results are obtained and discussed. © 2015 IEEE.


Costacurta M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | DiRenzo L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Sicuro L.,Italian National Institute of Statistics ISTAT | Gratteri S.,University of Catanzaro | And 2 more authors.
European journal of paediatric dentistry : official journal of European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry | Year: 2014

AIM: The aims of this cross-sectional statistical study were to evaluate the association between obesity and dental caries and to assess the impact of food intake, oral hygiene and lifestyle on the incidence of dental caries in obese paediatric patients, analysed by Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA).MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sample of 96 healthy patients, aged between 6 and 11 years (mean age 8.58±1.43) was classified in relation to body composition assessment and McCarthy growth charts and cut- offs. Body composition analysis, to obtain body fat mass (FM) and body fat free mass (FFM) measurements, was determined by means of a DXA fan beam scanner. The subjects underwent dental examination to assess the dmft/DMFT, and completed a questionnaire on food intake, oral hygiene habits and lifestyle. The sample was subsequently subdivided into four groups: Group A (normal weight - caries-free), Group B (normal weight with caries), Group C (pre-obese/obese - caries-free), Group D (pre-obese/obese with caries).STATISTICS: The statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software (version 16; SPSS Inc., Chicago IL, USA). Spearman's correlation was performed to evaluate the correlation between dmft/DMFT and FM%. The chi-square test was performed to assess the categorical variables, while the non-parametric Kruskal Wallis test and the Mann Whitney test were employed for the quantitive variables. Statististical significance was set at a P-value of 0.05.RESULTS: The preobese-obese children had higher indexes of dental caries than normal weight subjects, both for deciduous teeth (dmft 2.5 ± 0.54 vs 1.4 ± 0.38; p=0.030) and permanent teeth (DMFT 2.8 ± 0.24 vs 1.93 ± 1.79; p=0.039). The correlations between dmft/DMFT indexes and body composition parameters were analysed and a significant correlation between dmft/DMFT indexes and FM% was observed (p=0.031 for dmft, p=0.022 for DMFT). According to the data recorded, there was no statistically significant difference between Groups A, B, C and D in terms of food intake between meals (p=0.436), frequency of starch intake limited to the main meals (p=0.867), home oral hygiene (p=0.905), dental hygiene performed at school (p=0.389), habit of eating after brushing teeth (p=0.196), participation in extracurricular sport activities (p=0.442) and educational level of parents: father (p=0.454), mother (p=0.978). In contrast, there was a statistically significant difference between Groups A, B, C and D in terms of intake of sugar-sweetened drinks (p=0.005), frequency of sugar intake limited to the main meals (p<0.001), frequency of food intake between meals (p=0.038) and sedentary lifestyle (p=0.012). Successive analysis revealed a statistically significant difference between Group A and D in terms of intake of sugar-sweetened drinks (p=0.001), frequency of sugar intake limited to the main meals (p=0.008), and frequency of food intake between meals (p=0.018), and between Group C and D in terms of frequency of sugar intake limited to the main meals (p<0.001), and frequency of food intake between meals (p=0.040).CONCLUSION: This study shows a direct association between dental caries and obesity evident from a correlation between prevalence of dental caries and FM%. The analysis of food intake, dmft/DMFT, FM%, measured by DXA, demonstrates that specific dietary habits (intake of sugar-sweetened drinks, frequency of sugar intake limited to main meals, frequency of food intake between meals) may be considered risk factors that are common to both dental caries and childhood obesity.


Signore M.,Italian National Institute of Statistics Istat | Fazio D.,Italian National Institute of Statistics Istat
Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal | Year: 2014

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the European Framework for Measuring Progress (e-Frame). It is a coordination project funded by the European Commission (EC) which builds on the latest political directions with particular attention to the priorities identified by the Europe 2020 strategy. Design/methodology/approach – e-Frame aims at contributing to empower the European debate on “GDP and beyond”, taking a broad approach by looking together on social, economic, environmental and global dimensions. Main general actions are coordinating initiatives of different actors to foster the debate by involving all relevant stakeholders through different communication channels and networking activities; streamlining the stocktaking on what has been reached so far and organizing dissemination events. Findings – The e-Frame project is largely contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP) and beyond debate. Its main outcomes range from thematic achievements to more strategically and politically oriented documents. Particular attention is devoted to the challenges that are emerging from the stocktaking activities carried out within the project and that have been conceptually divided in those pertaining to the official statistical production and those more related to the possible interactions between official and non-official statistics. Originality/value – e-Frame original features are proposing new ways for delivering information to a wide audience of experts as well as to the society, at large; in defining guidelines for the use of existing well-being indicators by policy-makers; identifying new topics and emerging needs to be put at the center of future research agendas by the EC and by the European Statistical Systems in the area of measuring well-being, societal progress and sustainability. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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