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sicians providing information to the Health Search/Thales Database from 2001 to 2004.
The age-standardised incidence of AF was: 3.9-3.0 cases, and 3.6-3.0 cases per 1,000
person-years in males and females, respectively. During the study period, 2,016 (37.2%)
patients had no prescription, 1,663 (30.7%) were prescribed an antiplatelet (AP) agent,
1,440 (26.6%) were prescribed an OAC and 301 (5.5%) had both prescriptions. The date
of diagnosis (p = 0.0001) affected the likelihood of receiving an OAC. AP, but not OAC,
use significantly increased with a worsening stroke risk profile using the CHADS2 risk sco-
re. Older age increased the probability (p < 0.0001) of receiving an AP, but not an OAC.
Approximately 42% and 24% of patients persisted with OAC treatment at one and two
years, respectively, the remainder interrupted or discontinued their treatment. Underuse
and discontinuation of OAC treatment is common in incident AF patients. Risk stratifica-
tion only partially influences AT management.
Cazzola M, Bettoncelli G, Sessa E, Cricelli C, Biscione G. Prevalence of comorbidities in
patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
. Respiration. 2010;80:112-9.
ABSTRACT. BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated
with many comorbidities, but the percentage of COPD patients who develop comorbi-
dities has not been clearly defined. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to examine the relationship
between COPD and comorbidities using information obtained from the Health Search
Database (HSD) owned by the Italian College of General Practitioners (SIMG), which stores
information on about 1.5% of the total Italian population served by general practitioners.
METHODS: We conducted a population-based retrospective study using information ob-
tained from the HSD. The software system used codes all the diagnostic records using the
9th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. RESULTS: Compared to the
non-COPD people, COPD patients were at increased risk for cardiovascular events [ische-
mic heart disease (6.9% in the general population vs. 13.6% in COPD patients), cardiac
arrhythmia (6.6% in the general population vs. 15.9% in COPD patients), heart failure
(2.0% in the general population vs. 7.9% in COPD patients), and other forms of heart
disease (10.7% in the general population vs. 23.1% in COPD patients); with a higher im-
pact of COPD in the elderly]; non-psychotic mental disorders, including depressive disor-
ders (29.1% in the general population vs. 41.6% in COPD patients; with a higher impact
of COPD on women aged <75 years); diabetes mellitus (10.5% in the general population
vs. 18.7% in COPD patients); osteoporosis (10.8% in the general population vs. 14.8% in
COPD patients), with a higher impact of COPD on women aged <75 years, and malignant
pulmonary neoplasms (0.4% in the general population vs. 1.9% in COPD patients). CON-
CLUSIONS: Our results indicate that COPD is a risk factor for these comorbid conditions.
Trifirņ G, Sini G, Sturkenboom MC, Vanacore N, Mazzaglia G, Caputi AP, Cricelli C, Brigno-
li O, Aguglia E, Biggio G, Samani F. Prescribing pattern of antipsychotic drugs in the
Italian general population 2000-2005: a focus on elderly with dementia
. Int Clin
Psychopharmacol. 2010;25:22-8.
ABSTRACT. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antipsychotic drug prescribing
pattern in the Italian general population, elderly, and especially elderly with dementia, in
relation to the safety warnings issued by international regulatory agencies about the risk
of cerebrovascular adverse events and mortality in 2004 and 2005. A cohort study was
conducted using the electronic medical records of the Italian general practice database
`Health Search/Thales'. On the basis of prescription data, 1-year and monthly prevalence
estimates were calculated for atypical and typical antipsychotic use in general population,
elderly, and elderly demented outpatients. One-year prevalence of individual medication
use in elderly demented patients was calculated as well. The prevalence of use of atypical
agents in demented patients progressively increased from 2000 [0.2 (0.05-0.7) per 10