[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the influence of the availability of drug eluting stents (DES) on treatment choice (TC) among medical therapy (MT), coronary by-pass surgery (CABG) or percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) and the consequent clinical outcomes in patients hospitalised because of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Observational study comparing two cohorts hospitalised immediately before, and 3 years after DES availability.
Thirteen hospitals with cardiology facilities.
2131 consecutive patients with at least one coronary stenosis >50% at coronary angiography (CA) after exclusion of those with acute myocardial infarction or previous CABG or associated relevant valvular disease.
Treatment choice after CA and 4-year clinical outcomes.
TC among MT (27% vs 29.2%), PCI (58.6% vs 55.5%) and CABG (14.5% vs 15.3%) was similar in the DES and bare metal stent (BMS) periods (p = 0.51). At least one DES was implanted in 57% of patients treated with PCI in 2005. After 4 years, no difference in mortality (13.8% vs 13.2%, p = 0.72), hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (6.6% vs 5.2%, p = 0.26), stroke (2.2% vs 1.7%, p = 0.49) and further revascularisations (22.3% vs 19.7%, p = 0.25) were observed in patients enrolled in the DES and BMS periods. Only in patients with Syntax score 23-32 a significant change of TC (p = 0.0002) occurred in the DES versus BMS period: MT in 17.4% vs 31%, PCI in 62.2% vs 35.8%, CABG in 20.3% vs 33.2%, with similar 4-year combined end-point of mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction and further revascularisations (45.3% vs 34.2%, p = 0.087).
Three years after DES availability, the TC in patients with CAD has not changed significantly as well as the 4-year incidence of death, myocardial infarction, stroke and further revascularisations. In subgroup with Syntax score 23-32, a significant increase of indications to PCI was observed in the DES period, without any improvement of the 4-year clinical outcome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) is a life-threatening diabetic complication. We aimed to portrait the short and long term outcome after a HHS episode and to describe features associated with increased early mortality.
We collected data from consecutive HHS cases, defined based on rigorous glucose and osmolality criteria. We retrieved anthropometric measures, history of diabetes, other cardiovascular risk factors and chronic co-morbidity. Clinical and biochemical parameters were recorded at admission, after 24h and at discharge. We assessed incidence of complications, as well as short (≤ 30 days) and long term mortality.
Patients were about 80-year old. Fifty-one cases were included, characterized by severe hyperglycemia (55.5 mosm/L) and hyperosmolality (385 mosm/L). Thirty-three percent developed at least one complication. Short term mortality was 16%; lower Glasgow Coma Scale, higher plasma glucose and mild acidosis were predictive of short term mortality. The long term mortality (median follow-up 1.27 years) was not significantly different from historical mortality data after hypoglycemic coma.
In this study, early mortality of HHS was 16% and some clinical features at presentation were predictive of an adverse short term outcome. Long term survival after a HHS episode did not appear to be severely impaired.
No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Diabetes research and clinical practice
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed at evaluating the quality of care in elderly patients hospitalized for heart failure, compared with that received by subjects of younger age.
A cross-sectional retrospective study was performed on hospitalized subjects for heart failure in the Veneto Region (4.5 million inhabitants), located in North-East Italy, for the year 2004. Through consultation of clinical charts, performance of echocardiography, and prescription of ACE-inhibitors and beta-blockers were evaluated in each patient. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to test the association between age and the end-points of interest: prescription of ACE-inhibitors or beta- blockers and performance of echocardiography.
The percentage of patients with prescriptions for ACE-inhibitors decreased with age, from 75% for patients under 65 years, to 62% for subjects over 84 years (p=0.02). A similar, but more marked, finding was observed for prescriptions of beta- blockers (56% in subjects aged <65 yrs vs 16% in those aged >84 yrs) (p<0.001). Evaluation of echocardiography was performed in 61% of subjects under 65 and in 22% in those over 84 (p<0.001). After statistical adjustment, age remained a significant predictor of prescription for beta-blockers and performance of echocardiography, but no longer for prescription of ACE-inhibitors.
Among the elderly, age was a negative predictor of beta-blocker prescription and echocardiographic evaluation, but did not affect prescriptions for ACE-inhibitors.
No preview · Article · Jun 2010 · Aging clinical and experimental research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study evaluates the impact of the introduction of ICD-10 on mortality statistics in Italy.
«Bridge-Coding» analysis carried out by a working group that has coded a number of death certificates using both ICD-9 and ICD-10 versions. In 2006, a training project was launched in order to allow the group to standardize the coding procedures.
The study was carried out by professionals from the following regions: Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Tuscany, Liguria; and from the towns of Biella and Milan. The analysis included 74,525 Death Certificates produced in the aforementioned areas.
A limited variability was observed for the most important groups of diseases (diseases of the circulatory system and neoplasms), with low impact on mortality statistics. The variability was higher for "minor" diseases like infectious and respiratory diseases, and dementia. The variability was similar but not identical to that observed in other national and international studies. The «Bridge-Coding» analysis has a local impact. Furthermore, changes depending on the variation in the selection rules are impossible to predict or to correct with the trans-coding procedure.
In some cases, the changes determined by the implementation of ICD-10 are not completely corrected by the transcoding procedure, even applying appropriate Comparability Ratios (CR) from «Bridge Coding» analysis like this. Studies on respiratory diseases, or dementia and some neoplasms require new coding procedures in only one ICD version. Quality and accuracy of the compilation of death certificates have more effect than a correct coding, though more casual and less evaluable by means of comparability studies like this one.
No preview · Article · May 2010 · Epidemiologia e prevenzione
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the short and long term effects of the demerit points system on seat belt use, we set a region-wide cross-sectional observational study 3 months before, and 3 and 15 months after the introduction of the scheme (July 2003) in the Veneto Region, Italy. We analysed differences in seat belt use by year of observation, gender and position in the vehicle, and obtained adjusted prevalence ratio (APR) through Poisson regression. A total of 29,303 drivers, 28,778 front and 12,186 rear passengers were observed. Prevalence levels of 54% for drivers and 53% for front passengers in 2003 switched to 83 and 76%, respectively, 3 months after the new legislation, with further slight increases 15 months thereafter. Seventy-four percent rear passengers were still not compliant with the legislation in 2005. The probability of being belted was 25% lower in males than females (APR=0.75, 95% CI 0.73-0.77) at the beginning of the study period. However, the effect of the new legislation was 19% greater among males (APR=1.19, 95% CI 1.16-1.23). A substantial increase in seat belt use was reached and sustained with the demerit points system. Specific efforts should target rear passengers whose seat belt use still remains worryingly low.
No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Accident Analysis & Prevention
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the effect of a demerit points system, introduced in Italy in July 2003, on the prevalence of seat belt use (intermediate outcome) and the number of road traffic deaths and injuries (health outcomes).
Pre- and post-intervention regional observational study for seat belt investigation (April 2003, October 2004); national time-series analysis of road traffic deaths and injuries between 1999 and 2004 for health outcomes.
Veneto region, Italy.
19,551 drivers, 19,057 front passengers and 8,123 rear passengers estimated to be aged over 11 years were included in the investigation into seat belt use. 38,154 fatalities and 1,938,550 injured subjects were examined for the time-series analysis.
Demerit points system.
The proportions of drivers and front and rear passengers observed to be using seat belts before and after the intervention; estimates of lives and injuries saved through the implementation of a penalty points system.
The demerit points system was followed by an increase in observed seat belt use of 51.8% (95% confidence interval 48.7% to 54.9%) among drivers, of 42.3% (95% confidence interval 39.2% to 45.5%) among front passengers and of 120.7% (95% confidence interval 99.4% to 144.3%) among rear passengers. It is estimated that 1,545 (95% confidence interval 1387 to 1703; p<0.0001) deaths and 91,772 (95% confidence interval 67,762 to 115,783; p<0.0001) injuries were prevented in the 18 months after the introduction of the legislation, i.e. an 18% reduction (1545/8570) in fatalities and a 19% reduction (91,772/473,048) in injuries.
The demerit points system is effective both in encouraging drivers and passengers to adhere to the law and in terms of health outcomes, substantially contributing to road safety.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many statistical approaches have been applied to compare health care providers' performance, but few studies have examined how the outlier status of providers depends on the choice between risk-adjustment techniques.
We analyzed the recourse to breast-conserving surgery (BCS) for breast carcinoma across 31 hospitals of the Veneto Region (Italy). The following methods were compared: the ratio of observed to expected events (O/E), regression models with provider effects introduced as dummy variables obtained by standard or weighted effect coding, and multilevel analysis.
The O/E method classified seven hospitals (one with high and six with low BCS rates) as outliers. The regression model with the weighted parameterization gave similar results, whereas through standard effect coding all odds ratios shifted and different outliers were identified. Multilevel analysis was quite conservative in identifying small hospitals with BCS rates lower than the regional mean.
Whenever feasible, results obtained through different statistical methodologies should be compared. If providers are modeled as dummy variables obtained by effect coding, departures of the model intercept from the regional mean should be checked. The increasing use of multilevel models could entail a lower sensitivity in identifying low-quality outliers if a volume-outcome relationship exists.
No preview · Article · Sep 2007 · Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus is a growing public health problem, for which efficient and timely surveillance is a key policy. Administrative databases offer relevant opportunities for this purpose. We aim to monitor the incidence of diabetes and its major complications using administrative data.
We study a population of about 850,000 inhabitants in the Veneto Region (Italy) from the end of year 2001 to the end of year 2004. We use four administrative databases with record linkage. Databases of drug prescriptions and of exemptions from medical charge were linked to identify diabetic subjects; hospital discharge records and mortality data were used for the assessment of macrovascular and renal complications and vital status.
We identified 30,230 and 34,620 diabetic subjects at the start and at the end of the study respectively. The row prevalence increased from 38.3/1000 (95% CI 37.2-39.5) to 43.2/1000 (95% CI 42.3-44) for males and from 34.7/1000 (95% CI 33.9-35.5) to 38.1/1000 (95% CI 37.4-39) for females. The mean row incidence is 5.3/1000 (95% CI 5-5.6) person years for males and 4.8/1000 (95% CI 4.4-5.2) person years for females. The rate of hospitalisations for cardiovascular or kidney diseases is greatly increased in diabetic people with respect to non diabetics for both genders. The mortality relative risk is particularly important in younger age classes: diabetic males and females aged 45-64 years present relative risk for death of 1.7 (95% CI 1.58-1.88) and 2.6 (95% CI 2.29-2.97) respectively.
This study provides a feasible and efficient method to determine and monitor the incidence and prevalence of diabetes and the occurrence of its complications along with indexes of morbidity and mortality.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · Cardiovascular Diabetology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the burden of hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and the impact of the new diagnostic criteria for acute myocardial infarction on epidemiology of ACSs.
We analysed the hospital discharge record archives of the Veneto Region in the period 2000-2003, including admissions of regional residents outside the study area. We defined a list of ICD-9-CM codes for the identification of different types of ACS. We examined trends in standardized hospitalization rates as well as patient characteristics (age, sex) and pattern of care (setting, invasive revascularization, length of hospital stay, in-hospital mortality).
The hospitalization rate for non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction increased by about 70%, with a parallel decrease in hospitalizations for unstable angina, whereas the hospitalization rate for ST-elevation myocardial infarction remained unchanged. These trends are likely influenced by the new diagnostic criteria for acute myocardial infarction. At the end of the study period, although the main patient characteristics did not vary substantially, the pattern of care turned out to be more aggressive.
Despite some limitations, our results indicate that the new diagnostic criteria for acute myocardial infarction have a major impact on epidemiological evaluation. These data may be relevant when comparing epidemiological data of different periods and planning healthcare policies. Further studies are needed in order to evaluate the accuracy of ICD-9-CM codes in the diagnosis of ACSs.
No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI) is the most effective reperfusion treatment of acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), but logistic- and organization-related problems affect its feasibility. The aim of this study was to investigate a) the requirements of reperfusion therapies, and b) the feasibility of pPCI as suggested by the current guidelines, in the Veneto Region.
With the aim to treat with pPCI most of the patients with high-risk STEMI regardless of the type of admitting hospital, a single treatment protocol was developed and shared by the majority of Cardiology Departments in the Veneto Region. Data of all consecutive patients with STEMI were prospectively recorded and subsequently and independently compared with administrative data.
In 28 participating hospitals, 1160 consecutive patients with STEMI were enrolled during a 6-month period: in 999 symptom onset was < 12 hours. Based on the registry data, it is possible to estimate that 697 patients/million of inhabitants/year are admitted in Cardiology Departments with the initial diagnosis of STEMI: 86% are admitted < 12 hours from symptom onset and 58% of them have at least one characteristic of high risk. The strategy of immediate coronary angiography and possible PCI was carried out in 52.3% of eligible patients: in 55.8 and 47.5% of high- and low-risk STEMI and from 17.1 to 75.1% based on the type of admitting hospital. Recanalization with pPCI was obtained < 90 min from the diagnosis in 70 and 32% of patients treated on site and transferred, respectively.
The absolute number of patients with STEMI eligible for reperfusion therapies is lower than previously reported. The reperfusion strategy based on pPCI was much more related to the type of admitting hospital than to the clinical characteristics of the patients. pPCI performed as suggested by the current guidelines is feasible in patients admitted in hospitals with interventional facilities available 24 hours/day, but in those who need to be transferred it is necessary to modify the existing pathways and/or treatment protocols.
No preview · Article · Nov 2005 · Italian heart journal: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measuring the impact of stroke through population-based stroke registers is complex and costly. The aim of the present study is to assess the validity of hospital discharge diagnoses (all ages) and to estimate the total number of hospitalized stroke events in the Veneto region (Northeastern Italy, 4,500,000 inhabitants).
All discharges covering a 1-year period (1999) from Veneto hospitals with International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision codes 342, 430 to 434, and 436 to 438 were identified. A stratified sample was extracted and submitted to retrospective clinical record review according to the World Health Organization MONItoring trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease stroke project. Using the positive predictive value (PPV) for validated acute stroke of each code to adjust for inaccuracy of discharge diagnoses, an estimate of hospital strokes was obtained.
4015 admissions were reviewed. Codes 430, 431, 434, and 436 as primary diagnoses had the highest PPV, which sharply decreased in the other diagnostic levels. Code 342 also showed a high PPV. The probability of suspected events meeting the stroke definition increased with age and was highest for patients admitted to neurological wards and for fatal events. Overall 9400 strokes (first-ever and recurrent) were estimated to be hospitalized in 1999, with an attack rate of 208 per 100,000.
Our data indicate that once validation studies are undertaken on a sample of all hospitalized events, hospital discharge records can provide a valuable source of information on the actual burden of strokes on hospital services.