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1.  Lung function changes from childhood to adolescence: a seven-year follow-up study 
As part of an investigation into the respiratory health in children conducted in Torino, northwestern Italy, our aim was to assess development in lung function from childhood to adolescence, and to assess changes or persistence of asthma symptoms on the change of lung function parameters. Furthermore, the observed lung function data were compared with the Global Lung Function Initiative (GLI) reference values.
We conducted a longitudinal study, which lasted 7 years, composed by first survey of 4–5 year-old children in 2003 and a follow-up in 2010. Both surveys consisted in collecting information on health by standardized SIDRIA questionnaire and spirometry testing with FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC% and FEF25–75 measurements.
242 subjects successfully completed both surveys. In terms of asthma symptoms (AS = asthma attacks or wheezing in the previous 12 months), 191/242 were asymptomatic, 13 reported AS only in the first survey (early transient), 23 had AS only in the second survey (late onset), and 15 had AS in both surveys (persistent). Comparing the lung function parameters observed with the predicted by GLI only small differences were detected, except for FVC and FEF25–75, for which more than 5% of subjects had Z-score values beyond the Z-score normal limits. Furthermore, as well as did not significantly affect developmental changes in FVC and FEV1, the decrease in FEV1/FVC ratio was significantly higher in subjects with AS at the time of follow-up (late onset and persistent phenotypes) while the increase in FEF25–75 was significantly smaller in subjects with persistent AS (p < 0.05).
The GLI equations are valid in evaluating lung function during development, at least in terms of lung volume measurements. Findings also suggest that the FEF25–75 may be a useful tool for clinical and epidemiological studies of childhood asthma.
PMCID: PMC4392458  PMID: 25885675
Longitudinal study; Lung function; Adolescents; Air pollution; Environmental tobacco smoke
2.  Risk of tuberculin conversion among healthcare workers and the adoption of preventive measures 
In industrialised countries, occupational tuberculosis among healthcare workers (HCWs) is re‐emerging as an important public health issue. To prevent and control tuberculosis transmission, several institutions have issued and implemented recommendations and practice guidelines.
To estimate the annual rate of tuberculosis infection (ARTI; per 100 person‐years) among HCWs in Turin, the capital of the Piedmont region of Italy, to identify factors associated with variations in the ARTI and to evaluate the efficacy of the regional guidelines to prevent and control tuberculosis.
The study was conducted between 1997 and 2004 on a cohort of HCWs. The tuberculosis infection was diagnosed through tuberculin skin testing (TST) conversion and defined as an induration increase of at least 10 mm from a previous negative TST. The ARTI and the hazard ratio for each at‐risk subgroup, categorised according to working activities and settings, was estimated using exponential survival models. The efficacy of the regional guidelines was estimated by stratifying the analysis according to the moment of the implementation of the guidelines (before/after).
The 2182 study participants were drawn from the dynamic cohort. The overall adjusted ARTI was 1.6 (95% CI: 1.3 to 1.9)/100 person‐years. Different workplaces (eg, administrative and infectious diseases inpatient services) and occupations (eg, clerical and medical workers) were associated with significantly different ARTIs, ranging between 0.62 and 2.62 and between 0.61 and 1.71, respectively, whereas the TST conversion risk differed by about 16–68% and 30–60%, respectively. The implementation of the guidelines coincided with overall ARTI reductions of 1.3/100 person‐years, and concurrently the variations between ARTIs of different occupations and workplaces disappeared.
The occupational risk categories for targeting the surveillance and prevention of tuberculosis transmission among HCWs were identified, and the introduction of preventive measures was observed to be effective in decreasing the overall risk of tuberculosis infection among HCWs.
PMCID: PMC2092534  PMID: 16912085
3.  Incidence of asthma and mortality in a cohort of young adults: a 7-year prospective study 
Respiratory Research  2005;6(1):95.
Few longitudinal data exist on the incidence of asthma in young adults and on the overall mortality risk due to asthma. A 7-year follow-up prospective study was performed to assess the incidence of asthma and mortality from all causes in a cohort of young adults.
The life status of a cohort of 6031 subjects, aged 20–44 years, who replied to a respiratory screening questionnaire between 1991 and 1992, was ascertained in 1999. A new questionnaire investigating the history of asthma was subsequently sent to the 5236 subjects who were still alive and residents in the areas of the study. 3880 subjects (74%) replied to the second questionnaire.
The incidence of adult-onset asthma was 15.3/10,000/year (95%CI:11.2–20.8). The presence of asthma-like symptoms (IRR:4.17; 95%CI:2.20–7.87) and allergic rhinitis (IRR:3.30; 95%CI:1.71–6.36) at baseline were independent predictors of the onset of asthma, which was more frequent in women (IRR:2.32; 95%CI:1.16–4.67) and increased in the younger generations.
The subjects who reported asthma attacks or nocturnal asthma symptoms at baseline had an excess mortality risk from all causes (SMR = 2.05; 95%CI:1.06–3.58) in the subsequent seven years. The excess mortality was mainly due to causes not related to respiratory diseases.
Asthma occurrence is a relevant public health problem even in young adults. The likelihood of developing adult onset asthma is significantly higher in people suffering from allergic rhinitis, in women and in more recent generations. The presence of asthma attacks and nocturnal symptoms seems to be associated with a potential excess risk of all causes mortality.
PMCID: PMC1201174  PMID: 16105170

Results 1-3 (3)