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1.  Self-reported history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women in Northern Italy: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:310.
The incidence of invasive cervical cancer in HIV-positive women is higher than in the general population. There is evidence that HIV-positive women do not participate sufficiently in cervical cancer screening in Italy, where cervical cancer is more than 10-fold higher in women with AIDS than in the general population. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women in Italy in recent years. We also examined the sociodemographic, clinical, and organizational factors associated with adherence to cervical cancer screening.
A cross-sectional study was conducted between July 2006 and June 2007 in Emilia-Romagna region (Northern Italy). All HIV-positive women who received a follow-up visit in one of the 10 regional infectivology units were invited to participate. History of Pap-smear, including abnormal smears and subsequent treatment, was investigated through a self-administered anonymous questionnaire. The association between lack of Pap-smear in the year preceding the interview and selected characteristics was assessed by means of odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals adjusted for study centre and age.
A total of 1,002 HIV-positive women were interviewed. Nine percent reported no history of Pap-smear, and 39% had no Pap-smear in the year prior to the date of questionnaire (last year). The lack of Pap-smear in the last year was significantly associated with age <35 years (OR = 1.4, compared to age ≥45 years), lower education level (OR = 1.3), first HIV-positive test in the last 2 years (OR = 1.4), and CD4 count <200 cells/μl (OR = 1.6). Conversely, when women were advised by a gynecologist rather than other health workers to undergo screening, it significantly increased adherence. Non-significantly higher proportions of lack of Pap-smear in the last year were found in women born in Central-Eastern Europe (OR = 1.8) and Africa (OR = 1.3). No difference in history of Pap-smear emerged by mode of HIV-acquisition or AIDS status.
Three hundred five (34%) women reported a previous abnormal Pap-smear, and of the 178 (58%) referred for treatment, 97% complied.
In recent years the self-reported history of Pap-smear in HIV-positive women, in some public clinics in Italy, is higher than previously reported, but further efforts are required to make sure cervical cancer screening is accessible to all HIV-positive women.
PMCID: PMC2904281  PMID: 20565935
2.  Incidence, detection, and tumour stage of breast cancer in a cohort of Italian women with negative screening mammography report recommending early (short-interval) rescreen 
BMC Medicine  2010;8:11.
Although poorly described in the literature, the practice of early (short-interval) rescreen after a negative screening mammogram is controversial due to its financial and psychological burden and because it is of no proven benefit.
The present study targeted an Italian 2-yearly screening programme (Emilia-Romagna Region, 1997-2002). An electronic dataset of 647,876 eligible negative mammography records from 376,257 women aged 50-69 years was record-linked with the regional breast cancer registry. The statistical analysis addressed the following research questions: (1) the prevalence of recommendation for early (<24 months) rescreen (RES) among negative mammography reports; (2) factors associated with the likelihood of a women receiving RES; and (3) whether women receiving RES and women receiving standard negative reports differed in terms of proportional incidence of interval breast cancer, recall rate at the next rescreen, detection rate of breast cancer at the next rescreen and the odds of having late-stage breast cancer during the interscreening interval and at the next rescreen.
RES was used in eight out of 13 screening centres, where it was found in 4171 out of 313,320 negative reports (average rate 1.33%; range 0.05%-4.33%). Reports with RES were more likely for women aged 50-59 years versus older women (odds ratio (OR) 1.33; 95% CI 1.25-1.42), for the first versus subsequent screening rounds (OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.79-2.04) and with a centre-specific recall rate below the average of 6.2% (OR 1.41; 95% CI 1.32-1.50). RES predicted a 3.51-fold (95% CI 0.94-9.29) greater proportional incidence of first-year interval cancers, a 1.90-fold (95% CI 1.62-2.22) greater recall rate at the next screen, a 1.72-fold (95% CI 1.01-2.74) greater detection rate of cancer at the next screen and a non-significantly decreased risk of late disease stage (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.23-1.53).
The prevalence of RES was in line with the maximum standard level established by the Italian national guidelines. RES identified a subset of women with greater incidence of interval cancers and greater prevalence of cancers detected at the next screen.
PMCID: PMC2829482  PMID: 20122145

Results 1-2 (2)