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D'Ambrosio GG, Campo S, Cancian M, Pecchioli S, Mazzaglia G. Opportunistic pro-
state-specific antigen screening in Italy: 6 years of monitoring from the Italian
general practice database
. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2010;19:413-6.
ABSTRACT. The practice of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening has been increasing
in Italy despite uncertain scientific evidence and contrary recommendations from most
scientific societies. In 2002, a survey of PSA screening diffusion among general practices
was performed, looking for screening frequency and age pattern of screened individuals.
The objective of this study was to assess whether the features of PSA screening did change
after 6 years in the same considered setting. Using the data obtained from 500 Italian ge-
neral practitioners providing information to the Health Search/CSD Patient database, we
selected, for the studypurpose 351 091 male individuals. We assumed PSA prescriptions
performed during 2005-2008 in individuals without prostate cancer, or benign prostate
disease, or urological symptoms history to have a screening purpose. Screening frequency
was analyzed in the overall series, by year and by patient's age. Exposure to PSA screening
(at least on PSA test in the considered period) of males aged over 50 years raised from
31.4% (confidence interval 95% 31.08-31.70%) during 2002 to 46.4% (confidence in-
terval 95% 46.19-46.68%) during 2008. The highest yearly exposure to PSA screening
(55%) and the highest frequency of repeat testing was observed in the 70-79 age range.
PSA screening practice has continued to increase in Italy and is often performed in elderly
people without any scientific rationale.
Vena GA, Altomare G, Ayala F, Berardesca E, Calzavara-Pinton P, Chimenti S,Giannetti A,
Girolomoni G, Lotti T, Martini P, Mazzaglia G, Peserico A, Pugliesi Guerra A, Sini G, Cassa-
no N, Cricelli C. Incidence of psoriasis and association with comorbidities in Italy: A
5-year observational study from a national primary care database
. Eur J Dermatol.
ABSTRACT. An observational study was conducted to estimate the incidence of pso-
riasis in Italy, as well as the utilization of healthcare resources and the association with
selected comorbidities in psoriasis patients. The data source was the Health Search/Thales
Database, containing computer-based patient records from over 900 primary care physi-
cians (PCPs) throughout Italy. The study cohort comprised all adults receiving a first-ever
diagnosis of psoriasis during the years 2001-2005. From a total sample of 511,532 indi-
viduals, the incidence of psoriasis was 2.30-3.21 cases per 1,000 person-years. Psoriatic
arthritis was present in 8% of psoriasis patients. The comparison with matched controls
showed that psoriasis patients were more likely to have comorbidities (e.g., chronic bron-
chitis, chronic ischemic heart disease, obesity and diabetes mellitus) and to undergo PCP
visits and hospitalizations, and to refer for specialist visits. The use of non-steroidal anti-
inflammatory drugs appeared to be significantly more prevalent in patients as compared
to controls. Topical therapy with corticosteroids and non-steroidal preparations accounted
for 45.3% and 47.2% of all cases, respectively. Only a minority of cases used systemic
immunosuppressive drugs or acitretin. The incidence rate of psoriasis in our study was
particularly high and might reflect an overestimation by PCPs. Our results show the asso-
ciation between psoriasis and multiple comorbidities.
Mazzaglia G, Filippi A, Alacqua M, Cowell W, Shakespeare A, Mantovani LG, Bianchi C,
Cricelli C. Thromb A national survey of the management of atrial fibrillation with
antithrombotic drugs in Italian primary care
. Thromb Haemost. 2010;103:968-75.
ABSTRACT. The aims of this study were to investigate trends in the incidence of dia-
gnosed atrial fibrillation (AF), and to identify factors associated with the prescription of
antithrombotics (ATs) and to identify the persistence of patients with oral anticoagulant
(OAC) treatment in primary care. Data were obtained from 400 Italian primary care phy-