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2.  Commuting-Adjusted Short-Term Health Impact Assessment of Airborne Fine Particles with Uncertainty Quantification via Monte Carlo Simulation 
Background: Exposure to air pollution is associated with a short-term increase in mortality, and this field has begun to focus on health impact assessment.
Objectives: Our aim was to estimate the impact of PM10 on mortality within 2 days from the exposure in the Italian region of Lombardy for the year 2007, at the municipality level, examining exposure entailed by daily intermunicipality commuting and accounting for uncertainty propagation.
Methods: We combined data from different sources to derive probabilistic distributions for all input quantities used to calculate attributable deaths (mortality rates, PM10 concentrations, estimated PM10 effects, and commuting flows) and applied a Monte Carlo procedure to propagate uncertainty and sample the distribution of attributable deaths for each municipality.
Results: We estimated that annual average PM10 concentrations above the World Health Organization-recommended threshold of 20 μg/m3 were responsible for 865 short-term deaths (80% credibility interval: 475, 1,401), 26% of which were attributable to PM10 above the European Union limit of 40 μg/m3. Reducing annual average PM10 concentrations > 20 μg/m3 by 20% would have reduced the number of attributable deaths by 36%. The largest estimated impacts were along the basin of the Po River and in the largest cities. Commuting contributed to the spatial distribution of the estimated impact.
Conclusions: Our estimates, which incorporated uncertainty quantification, indicate that the short-term impact of PM10 on mortality in Lombardy in 2007 was notable, and that reduction in air pollution would have had a substantial beneficial effect on population health. Using commuting data helped to identify critical areas for prioritizing intervention.
Citation: Baccini M, Grisotto L, Catelan D, Consonni D, Bertazzi PA, Biggeri A. 2015. Commuting-adjusted short-term health impact assessment of airborne fine particles with uncertainty quantification via Monte Carlo simulation. Environ Health Perspect 123:27–33; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408218
doi:10.1289/ehp.1408218
PMCID: PMC4286278  PMID: 25325518
5.  Welding and Lung Cancer in a Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(10):1513-1525.
Several epidemiologic studies have indicated an increased risk of lung cancer among welders. We used the SYNERGY project database to assess welding as a risk factor for developing lung cancer. The database includes data on 15,483 male lung cancer cases and 18,388 male controls from 16 studies in Europe, Canada, China, and New Zealand conducted between 1985 and 2010. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals between regular or occasional welding and lung cancer were estimated, with adjustment for smoking, age, study center, and employment in other occupations associated with lung cancer risk. Overall, 568 cases and 427 controls had ever worked as welders and had an odds ratio of developing lung cancer of 1.44 (95% confidence interval: 1.25, 1.67) with the odds ratio increasing for longer duration of welding. In never and light smokers, the odds ratio was 1.96 (95% confidence interval: 1.37, 2.79). The odds ratios were somewhat higher for squamous and small cell lung cancers than for adenocarcinoma. Another 1,994 cases and 1,930 controls had ever worked in occupations with occasional welding. Work in any of these occupations was associated with some elevation of risk, though not as much as observed in regular welders. Our findings lend further support to the hypothesis that welding is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwt201
PMCID: PMC3888276  PMID: 24052544
case-control studies; lung cancer; occupational exposure; welding
6.  Lung Cancer Risk Among Hairdressers: A Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies Conducted Between 1985 and 2010 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(9):1355-1365.
Increased lung cancer risks among hairdressers were observed in large registry-based cohort studies from Scandinavia, but these studies could not adjust for smoking. Our objective was to evaluate the lung cancer risk among hairdressers while adjusting for smoking and other confounders in a pooled database of 16 case-control studies conducted in Europe, Canada, China, and New Zealand between 1985 and 2010 (the Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies on the Joint Effects of Occupational Carcinogens in the Development of Lung Cancer). Lifetime occupational and smoking information was collected through interviews with 19,369 cases of lung cancer and 23,674 matched population or hospital controls. Overall, 170 cases and 167 controls had ever worked as hairdresser or barber. The odds ratios for lung cancer in women were 1.65 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16, 2.35) without adjustment for smoking and 1.12 (95% CI: 0.75, 1.68) with adjustment for smoking; however, women employed before 1954 also experienced an increased lung cancer risk after adjustment for smoking (odds ratio = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.09, 6.47). The odds ratios in male hairdressers/barbers were generally not elevated, except for an increased odds ratio for adenocarcinoma in long-term barbers (odds ratio = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.02, 4.77). Our results suggest that the increased lung cancer risks among hairdressers are due to their smoking behavior; single elevated risk estimates should be interpreted with caution and need replication in other studies.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwt119
PMCID: PMC3813309  PMID: 24068200
case-control studies; hair bleaching agents; hair color; lung neoplasms; occupational exposure
7.  Characterizing the genetic basis of methylome diversity in histologically normal human lung tissue 
Nature communications  2014;5:3365.
The genetic regulation of the human epigenome is not fully appreciated. Here we describe the effects of genetic variants on the DNA methylome in human lung based on methylation-quantitative trait loci (meQTL) analyses. We report 34,304 cis- and 585 trans-meQTLs, a genetic-epigenetic interaction of surprising magnitude, including a regulatory hotspot. These findings are replicated in both breast and kidney tissues and show distinct patterns: cis-meQTLs mostly localize to CpG sites outside of genes, promoters, and CpG islands (CGIs), while trans-meQTLs are over-represented in promoter CGIs. meQTL SNPs are enriched in CTCF binding sites, DNaseI hypersensitivity regions and histone marks. Importantly, 4 of the 5 established lung cancer risk loci in European ancestry are cis-meQTLs and, in aggregate, cis-meQTLs are enriched for lung cancer risk in a genome-wide analysis of 11,587 subjects. Thus, inherited genetic variation may affect lung carcinogenesis by regulating the human methylome.
doi:10.1038/ncomms4365
PMCID: PMC3982882  PMID: 24572595
8.  Reproductive and hormonal factors and the risk of lung cancer: the EAGLE Study 
Evidence about the role for reproductive and hormonal factors in the etiology of lung cancer in women is conflicting. To clarify this question, we examined 407 female cases and 499 female controls from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) population-based case-control study. Subjects were interviewed in person using a computer-assisted personal interview to assess demographics, education, smoking history, medical history, occupational history, reproductive and hormonal factors. Associations of interest were investigated using logistic regression models, adjusted for catchment area and age (matching variables), cigarette smoking (status, pack-years, and time since quitting). Additional confounding variables were investigated but did not substantially affect the results. We observed a reduced risk of lung cancer among women with later age at first live birth (≥31 years: OR=0.57, 95%CI=0.31–1.06, p-trend=0.05), later age at menopause (≥51 years: OR=0.49, 95%CI=0.31–0.79, p-trend=0.003), and longer reproductive periods (≥41 years: OR=0.44, 95%CI=0.25–0.79, p-trend=0.01). A reduced risk was also observed for Hormone Replacement Therapy (OR=0.63, 95%CI=0.42–0.95, p=0.03) and oral contraceptive use (OR=0.67, 95%CI=0.45–1.00, p=0.05), but no trend with duration of use was detected. Menopausal status (both natural and induced) was associated with an augmented risk. No additional associations were identified for other reproductive variables. This study suggests that women who continue to produce estrogens have a lower lung cancer risk. Large studies with great number of never smoking women, biomarkers of estrogen and molecular classification of lung cancer are needed for a more comprehensive view of the association between reproductive factors and lung cancer risk.
doi:10.1002/ijc.27926
PMCID: PMC3609937  PMID: 23129166
case-control study; lung cancer; reproductive factors
9.  Autonomic Dysfunction in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Evidence from Power Spectral Analysis of Heart Rate Variability in a Cross-Sectional Case-Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96656.
Background
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is set to become a major health problem with the exponential ageing of the world's population. The association between MCI and autonomic dysfunction, supported by indirect evidence and rich with clinical implications in terms of progression to dementia and increased risk of mortality and falls, has never been specifically demonstrated.
Aim
To conduct a comprehensive assessment of autonomic function in subjects with MCI by means of power spectral analysis (PSA) of heart rate variability (HRV) at rest and during provocative manoeuvres.
Methods
This cross-sectional study involved 80 older outpatients (aged ≥65) consecutively referred to a geriatric unit and diagnosed with MCI or normal cognition (controls) based on neuropsychological testing. PSA was performed on 5-minute electrocardiographic recordings under three conditions—supine rest with free breathing (baseline), supine rest with paced breathing at 12 breaths/minute (parasympathetic stimulation), and active standing (orthosympathetic stimulation)—with particular focus on the changes from baseline to stimulation of indices of sympathovagal balance: normalized low frequency (LFn) and high frequency (HFn) powers and the LF/HF ratio. Blood pressure (BP) was measured at baseline and during standing. Given its exploratory nature in a clinical population the study included subjects on medications with a potential to affect HRV.
Results
There were no significant differences in HRV indices between the two groups at baseline. MCI subjects exhibited smaller physiological changes in all three HRV indices during active standing, consistently with a dysfunction of the orthosympathetic system. Systolic BP after 10 minutes of standing was lower in MCI subjects, suggesting dysautonomia-related orthostatic BP dysregulation.
Conclusions
Our study is novel in providing evidence of autonomic dysfunction in MCI. This is associated with orthostatic BP dysregulation and the ongoing follow-up of the study population will determine its prognostic relevance as a predictor of adverse health outcomes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096656
PMCID: PMC4011966  PMID: 24801520
10.  Performance of lung ultrasonography in children with community-acquired pneumonia 
Background
There are few prospective evaluations of point-of-care ultrasonography (US) for the diagnosis of pediatric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). In particular, there are very few data concerning the efficiency of US in comparison with that of chest radiography (CR) in defining different kinds of lung alterations in the various pulmonary sections. The aim of this study was to bridge this gap in order to increase our knowledge of the performance of US in diagnosing CAP in childhood.
Methods
A total of 103 children (56 males, 54.4%; mean age ± standard deviation 5.6 ± 4.6 years) admitted to hospital with a clinical diagnosis of suspected CAP were prospectively enrolled and underwent CR (evaluated by an independent expert radiologist) and lung US (performed by a resident in paediatrics with limited experience in US). The performance of US in diagnosing CAP (i.e. its sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values) was compared with that of CR.
Results
A total of 48 patients had radiographically confirmed CAP. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of US in comparison with CR were respectively 97.9%, 94.5%, 94.0% and 98.1%. US identified a significantly higher number of cases of pleural effusion, but the concordance of the two methods in identifying the type of CAP was poor.
Conclusion
US can be considered a useful means of diagnosing CAP in children admitted to an Emergency Department with a lower respiratory tract infection, although its usefulness in identifying the type of lung involvement requires further evaluation.
doi:10.1186/1824-7288-40-37
PMCID: PMC4012508  PMID: 24742171
Chest radiography; Community-acquired pneumonia; Lower respiratory tract infection; Lung ultrasonography; Pneumonia; Radiology
11.  Are Women Who Smoke at Higher Risk for Lung Cancer Than Men Who Smoke? 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(7):601-612.
Worldwide lung cancer incidence is decreasing or leveling off among men, but rising among women. Sex differences in associations of tobacco carcinogens with lung cancer risk have been hypothesized, but the epidemiologic evidence is conflicting. We tested sex-smoking interaction in association with lung cancer risk within a population-based case-control study, the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) Study (Lombardy, Italy, 2002–2005). Detailed lifetime smoking histories were collected by personal interview in 2,100 cases with incident lung cancer and 2,120 controls. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for pack-years of cigarette smoking were estimated by logistic regression, adjusted for age, residence area, and time since quitting smoking. To assess sex-smoking interaction, we compared the slopes of odds ratios for logarithm of pack-years in a model for men and women combined. Overall, the slope for pack-years was steeper in men (odds ratio for female-smoking interaction = 0.39, 95% confidence interval: 0.24, 0.62; P < 0.0001); after restriction to ever smokers, the difference in slopes was much smaller (odds ratio for interaction = 0.63, 95% confidence interval: 0.29, 1.37; P = 0.24). Similar results were found by histological type. Results were unchanged when additional confounders were evaluated (e.g., tobacco type, inhalation depth, Fagerström-assessed nicotine dependence). These findings do not support a higher female susceptibility to tobacco-related lung cancer.
doi:10.1093/aje/kws445
PMCID: PMC3657535  PMID: 23425629
case-control studies; lung cancer; sex differences; smoking
12.  Rapid air infusion into the oesophagus: Motor response in patients with achalasia and nonobstructive dysphagia assessed with high-resolution manometry 
Background
Achalasia is a neurodegenerative disorder of the oesophagus. Alteration of motor activity induced by oesophageal distension has not been explored.
Objectives
To investigate this function, using high-resolution Manometry.
Methods
This study enrolled 15 healthy subjects, 15 nonobstructive dysphagia (NOD), and 18 achalasia patients successfully treated with pneumatic dilation (six with restored peristalsis). The three groups underwent five rapid (<1 s) intraoesophageal infusions of 20-ml air boluses, followed by eight 5-ml water swallows.
Results
Whereas the response rate to water swallows was similar in the three groups, air infusion induced a lower response rate in achalasia (median, interquartile range: 70%, 40–100%) and, to a lesser extent, in NOD patients (100%, 60–100%) than in healthy subjects (100%, 100–100%; p < 0.001 and p = 0.06, respectively). However, the response rate was highly variable in achalasia patients irrespective of presence of peristalsis. Furthermore, the strength of motor response to air infusion when compared to water swallows was diminished in achalasia patients but not in healthy subjects and NOD.
Conclusions
Motor response to rapid air infusion was variably impaired in achalasia. The role of this alteration in the long-term outcome deserves evaluation.
doi:10.1177/2050640614520866
PMCID: PMC4040817  PMID: 24918012
Achalasia; dysphagia; high-resolution manometry; oesophageal distension; oesophageal motility
13.  A Bioclinical Pattern for the Early Diagnosis of Cardioembolic Stroke 
Background and Scope. Early etiologic diagnosis of ischemic stroke subtype guides acute management and treatment. We aim to evaluate if plasma biomarkers can predict stroke subtypes in the early phase from stroke onset. Methods. Plasma N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), D-dimer, C-reactive protein, serum albumin, and globulin levels have been investigated in 114 consecutive patients presenting at the emergency room within 6 hours of the ischemic stroke onset. Plasma levels of biomarkers have been correlated with stroke aetiology (based on TOAST criteria) by multivariable logistic regression analysis, adjusted for several covariates. Results. Of the 114 patients, 34 (30%) had cardioembolic stroke, 27 (23%) atherothrombotic stroke, 19 (17%) lacunar stroke, and 34 (30%) stroke of undetermined origin. Patients with cardioembolic stroke had significantly higher levels of NT-proBNP and lower globulin/albumin (G/A) ratio compared with the other subgroups. At multiple logistic regression NT-proBNP > 200 pg/mL, G/A ratio > 0.70, and NIHSS score were independent predictors of cardioembolic stroke with high accuracy of the model, either including (AUC, 0.91) or excluding (AUC, 0.84) atrial fibrillation. Conclusions. A prediction model that includes NT-proBNP, G/A ratio, and NIHSS score can be useful for the early etiologic diagnosis of ischemic stroke.
doi:10.1155/2014/242171
PMCID: PMC3963221  PMID: 24734185
15.  A regression model for risk difference estimation in population-based case–control studies clarifies gender differences in lung cancer risk of smokers and never smokers 
Background
Additive risk models are necessary for understanding the joint effects of exposures on individual and population disease risk. Yet technical challenges have limited the consideration of additive risk models in case–control studies.
Methods
Using a flexible risk regression model that allows additive and multiplicative components to estimate absolute risks and risk differences, we report a new analysis of data from the population-based case–control Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology study, conducted in Northern Italy between 2002–2005. The analysis provides estimates of the gender-specific absolute risk (cumulative risk) for non-smoking- and smoking-associated lung cancer, adjusted for demographic, occupational, and smoking history variables.
Results
In the multiple-variable lexpit regression, the adjusted 3-year absolute risk of lung cancer in never smokers was 4.6 per 100,000 persons higher in women than men. However, the absolute increase in 3-year risk of lung cancer for every 10 additional pack-years smoked was less for women than men, 13.6 versus 52.9 per 100,000 persons.
Conclusions
In a Northern Italian population, the absolute risk of lung cancer among never smokers is higher in women than men but among smokers is lower in women than men. Lexpit regression is a novel approach to additive-multiplicative risk modeling that can contribute to clearer interpretation of population-based case–control studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2288-13-143
PMCID: PMC3840559  PMID: 24252624
Additive risk; Absolute risk; Case–control study; EAGLE; Lung cancer; Risk assessment; Sex factors; Smoking
16.  Sinonasal Cancer and Occupational Exposure in a Population-Based Registry 
We examined occupational exposures among subjects with sinonasal cancer (SNC) recorded in a population-based registry in the Lombardy Region, the most populated and industrialized Italian region. The registry collects complete clinical information and exposure to carcinogens regarding all SNC cases occurring in the population of the region. In the period 2008–2011, we recorded 210 SNC cases (137 men, 73 women). The most frequent occupational exposures were to wood (44 cases, 21.0%) and leather dust (29 cases, 13.8%), especially among men: 39 cases (28.5%) to wood and 23 cases (16.8%) to leather dust. Exposure to other agents was infrequent (<2%). Among 62 subjects with adenocarcinoma, 50% had been exposed to wood dust and 30.7% to leather dust. The proportions were around 10% in subjects with squamous cell carcinoma and about 20% for tumors with another histology. The age-standardized rates (×100,000 person-years) were 0.7 in men and 0.3 in women. Complete collection of cases and their occupational history through a specialized cancer registry is fundamental to accurately monitor SNC occurrence in a population and to uncover exposure to carcinogens in different industrial sectors, even those not considered as posing a high risk of SNC, and also in extraoccupational settings.
doi:10.1155/2013/672621
PMCID: PMC3777129  PMID: 24082884
17.  Cigarette smoking and lung cancer – relative risk estimates for the major histological types from a pooled analysis of case-control studies 
Lung cancer is mainly caused by smoking, but the quantitative relations between smoking and histologic subtypes of lung cancer remain inconclusive. Using one of the largest lung cancer datasets ever assembled, we explored the impact of smoking on risks of the major cell types of lung cancer. This pooled analysis included 13,169 cases and 16,010 controls from Europe and Canada. Studies with population controls comprised 66.5% of the subjects. Adenocarcinoma (AdCa) was the most prevalent subtype in never smokers and in women. Squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) predominated in male smokers. Age-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were estimated with logistic regression. ORs were elevated for all metrics of exposure to cigarette smoke and were higher for SqCC and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) than for AdCa. Current male smokers with an average daily dose of >30 cigarettes had ORs of 103.5 (95% CI 74.8-143.2) for SqCC, 111.3 (95% CI 69.8-177.5) for SCLC, and 21.9 (95% CI 16.6-29.0) for AdCa. In women, the corresponding ORs were 62.7 (95% CI 31.5-124.6), 108.6 (95% CI 50.7-232.8), and 16.8 (95% CI 9.2-30.6), respectively. Whereas ORs started to decline soon after quitting, they did not fully return to the baseline risk of never smokers even 35 years after cessation. The major result that smoking exerted a steeper risk gradient on SqCC and SCLC than on AdCa is in line with previous population data and biological understanding of lung cancer development.
doi:10.1002/ijc.27339
PMCID: PMC3296911  PMID: 22052329
cigarette smoking; lung cancer; relative risk characterization; tobacco smoke; stem cells
18.  Early and Late De Novo Tumors after Liver Transplantation in Adults: The Late Onset of Bladder Tumors in Men 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65238.
Background
De novo tumors (DNT) after liver transplantation (LT) represent a growing concern.
Patients and Methods
We analyzed the incidence of DNT, type, time of onset, risk factors and mortality (as of 2010) in 494 adult patients transplanted in the last 26 years (1983–2009).
Results
DNT occurred in 41 (8.3%) of the patients. The Standardized Incidence Ratio (SIR) compared with the Italian population was 1.8. There was a higher incidence in males (SIR 2.0), an expected extremely high rate of Kaposi’s sarcoma (SIR 127.95) and unexpected higher rates of tumors of the bladder in males (SIR 3.3). The incidence of DNT was higher within the first two years of LT (SIR 2.7) for Kaposi’s sarcoma (SIR 393.3) and after 10 years (SIR 1.7) for bladder tumors (SIR 10.6). Multivariate analysis identified alcoholic cirrhosis (HR = 3.0, 95% CI = 1.2–7.8) and sclerosing cholangitis (HR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.1–11.3) in the recipient as main risk factors for the occurrence of DNT.
Conclusions
Surveillance protocols for DNT must be specifically oriented to patients transplanted for alcoholic cirrhosis and sclerosing cholangitis. They should focus on early detection of Kaposi’s sarcomas, and more remarkably, on late development bladder tumors in men after LT.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065238
PMCID: PMC3681787  PMID: 23785414
19.  Impact of occupational carcinogens on lung cancer risk in a general population 
Background Exposure to occupational carcinogens is an important preventable cause of lung cancer. Most of the previous studies were in highly exposed industrial cohorts. Our aim was to quantify lung cancer burden attributable to occupational carcinogens in a general population.
Methods We applied a new job–exposure matrix (JEM) to translate lifetime work histories, collected by personal interview and coded into standard job titles, into never, low and high exposure levels for six known/suspected occupational lung carcinogens in the Environment and Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) population-based case–control study, conducted in Lombardy region, Italy, in 2002–05. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated in men (1537 cases and 1617 controls), by logistic regression adjusted for potential confounders, including smoking and co-exposure to JEM carcinogens. The population attributable fraction (PAF) was estimated as impact measure.
Results Men showed an increased lung cancer risk even at low exposure to asbestos (OR: 1.76; 95% CI: 1.42–2.18), crystalline silica (OR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.00–1.71) and nickel–chromium (OR: 1.18; 95% CI: 0.90–1.53); risk increased with exposure level. For polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, an increased risk (OR: 1.64; 95% CI: 0.99–2.70) was found only for high exposures. The PAFs for any exposure to asbestos, silica and nickel–chromium were 18.1, 5.7 and 7.0%, respectively, equivalent to an overall PAF of 22.5% (95% CI: 14.1–30.0). This corresponds to about 1016 (95% CI: 637–1355) male lung cancer cases/year in Lombardy.
Conclusions These findings support the substantial role of selected occupational carcinogens on lung cancer burden, even at low exposures, in a general population.
doi:10.1093/ije/dys042
PMCID: PMC3396321  PMID: 22467291
lung neoplasms; case–control study; carcinogens; occupational health
20.  Immunisation with BCG in the Maringue District, Sofala Province, Mozambique 
Objectives. We evaluated immunisation with Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) among newborns in 2011 in the Maringue District, Sofala Province, Mozambique, which includes seven health units. The study was motivated by the fact that in official reports, immunisation coverage was unreliable (more than 100%). Methods. The office of maternal-child health of the central Maringué-Sede health unit provided the number of live newborns in 2011 at the maternal clinics of the seven health units and an estimate of the number of home deliveries. From vaccination registers, we abstracted records of BCG vaccinations administered in the period 01/01/2011–30/06/2012 to children born in 2011. Results. The number of live newborns was 3,353. Overall, the number of BCG vaccinations administered was 2,893, with a coverage of 86.3%. Conclusion. In this study, we could only calculate an approximate coverage estimate, because of unavailability of adequate individual information. Recording practices should be changed in order to allow use of individual information and linkage across different information sources and thus a more precise vaccination coverage assessment.
doi:10.1155/2013/312065
PMCID: PMC3659439  PMID: 23738066
21.  Neuropsychology, social cognition and global functioning among bipolar, schizophrenic patients and healthy controls: preliminary data 
This study aimed to determine the extent of impairment in social and non-social cognitive domains in an ecological context comparing bipolar (BD), schizophrenic (SKZ) patients and healthy controls (HC). The sample was enrolled at the Department of Psychiatry of Policlinico Hospital, University of Milan; it includes stabilized SKZ patients (n = 30), euthymic bipolar patients (n = 18) and HC (n = 18). Patients and controls completed psychiatric assessment rating scales, the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) and the Executive and Social Cognition Battery (ESCB) that contains both ecological tests of executive function and social cognition, in order to better detect cognitive deficits in patients with normal results in standard executive batteries. The three groups differed significantly for gender and substance abuse, however, the differences did not influence the results. BD patients showed less impairment on cognitive performance compared to SKZ patients, even in “ecological” tests that mimic real life scenarios. In particular, BD performed better than SKZ in verbal memory (p < 0.0038) and BACS symbol coding (p < 0.0043). Regarding the ESCB tests, in the Hotel task SKZ patients completed significantly less tasks (p < 0.001), showed a greater number of errors in Multiple Errands Test (MET-HV) (p < 0.0248) and a worse performance in Theory of Mind (ToM) tests (p < 0.001 for the Eyes test and Faux pas test). Both patients' groups performed significantly worse than HC. Finally, significant differences were found between the two groups in GAF scores, being greater among BD subjects (p < 0.001). GAF was correlated with BACS and ESCB scores showing the crucial role of cognitive and ecological performances in patients' global functioning.
doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00661
PMCID: PMC3797996  PMID: 24146642
schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; social cognition; neuropsychological deficits; ecological tests
22.  Detectable clonal mosaicism and its relationship to aging and cancer 
Jacobs, Kevin B | Yeager, Meredith | Zhou, Weiyin | Wacholder, Sholom | Wang, Zhaoming | Rodriguez-Santiago, Benjamin | Hutchinson, Amy | Deng, Xiang | Liu, Chenwei | Horner, Marie-Josephe | Cullen, Michael | Epstein, Caroline G | Burdett, Laurie | Dean, Michael C | Chatterjee, Nilanjan | Sampson, Joshua | Chung, Charles C | Kovaks, Joseph | Gapstur, Susan M | Stevens, Victoria L | Teras, Lauren T | Gaudet, Mia M | Albanes, Demetrius | Weinstein, Stephanie J | Virtamo, Jarmo | Taylor, Philip R | Freedman, Neal D | Abnet, Christian C | Goldstein, Alisa M | Hu, Nan | Yu, Kai | Yuan, Jian-Min | Liao, Linda | Ding, Ti | Qiao, You-Lin | Gao, Yu-Tang | Koh, Woon-Puay | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Tang, Ze-Zhong | Fan, Jin-Hu | Aldrich, Melinda C | Amos, Christopher | Blot, William J | Bock, Cathryn H | Gillanders, Elizabeth M | Harris, Curtis C | Haiman, Christopher A | Henderson, Brian E | Kolonel, Laurence N | Le Marchand, Loic | McNeill, Lorna H | Rybicki, Benjamin A | Schwartz, Ann G | Signorello, Lisa B | Spitz, Margaret R | Wiencke, John K | Wrensch, Margaret | Wu, Xifeng | Zanetti, Krista A | Ziegler, Regina G | Figueroa, Jonine D | Garcia-Closas, Montserrat | Malats, Nuria | Marenne, Gaelle | Prokunina-Olsson, Ludmila | Baris, Dalsu | Schwenn, Molly | Johnson, Alison | Landi, Maria Teresa | Goldin, Lynn | Consonni, Dario | Bertazzi, Pier Alberto | Rotunno, Melissa | Rajaraman, Preetha | Andersson, Ulrika | Freeman, Laura E Beane | Berg, Christine D | Buring, Julie E | Butler, Mary A | Carreon, Tania | Feychting, Maria | Ahlbom, Anders | Gaziano, J Michael | Giles, Graham G | Hallmans, Goran | Hankinson, Susan E | Hartge, Patricia | Henriksson, Roger | Inskip, Peter D | Johansen, Christoffer | Landgren, Annelie | McKean-Cowdin, Roberta | Michaud, Dominique S | Melin, Beatrice S | Peters, Ulrike | Ruder, Avima M | Sesso, Howard D | Severi, Gianluca | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Visvanathan, Kala | White, Emily | Wolk, Alicja | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Zheng, Wei | Silverman, Debra T | Kogevinas, Manolis | Gonzalez, Juan R | Villa, Olaya | Li, Donghui | Duell, Eric J | Risch, Harvey A | Olson, Sara H | Kooperberg, Charles | Wolpin, Brian M | Jiao, Li | Hassan, Manal | Wheeler, William | Arslan, Alan A | Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, H | Fuchs, Charles S | Gallinger, Steven | Gross, Myron D | Holly, Elizabeth A | Klein, Alison P | LaCroix, Andrea | Mandelson, Margaret T | Petersen, Gloria | Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine | Bracci, Paige M | Canzian, Federico | Chang, Kenneth | Cotterchio, Michelle | Giovannucci, Edward L | Goggins, Michael | Bolton, Judith A Hoffman | Jenab, Mazda | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Krogh, Vittorio | Kurtz, Robert C | McWilliams, Robert R | Mendelsohn, Julie B | Rabe, Kari G | Riboli, Elio | Tjønneland, Anne | Tobias, Geoffrey S | Trichopoulos, Dimitrios | Elena, Joanne W | Yu, Herbert | Amundadottir, Laufey | Stolzenberg-Solomon, Rachael Z | Kraft, Peter | Schumacher, Fredrick | Stram, Daniel | Savage, Sharon A | Mirabello, Lisa | Andrulis, Irene L | Wunder, Jay S | García, Ana Patiño | Sierrasesúmaga, Luis | Barkauskas, Donald A | Gorlick, Richard G | Purdue, Mark | Chow, Wong-Ho | Moore, Lee E | Schwartz, Kendra L | Davis, Faith G | Hsing, Ann W | Berndt, Sonja I | Black, Amanda | Wentzensen, Nicolas | Brinton, Louise A | Lissowska, Jolanta | Peplonska, Beata | McGlynn, Katherine A | Cook, Michael B | Graubard, Barry I | Kratz, Christian P | Greene, Mark H | Erickson, Ralph L | Hunter, David J | Thomas, Gilles | Hoover, Robert N | Real, Francisco X | Fraumeni, Joseph F | Caporaso, Neil E | Tucker, Margaret | Rothman, Nathaniel | Pérez-Jurado, Luis A | Chanock, Stephen J
Nature genetics  2012;44(6):651-658.
In an analysis of 31,717 cancer cases and 26,136 cancer-free controls drawn from 13 genome-wide association studies (GWAS), we observed large chromosomal abnormalities in a subset of clones from DNA obtained from blood or buccal samples. Mosaic chromosomal abnormalities, either aneuploidy or copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity, of size >2 Mb were observed in autosomes of 517 individuals (0.89%) with abnormal cell proportions between 7% and 95%. In cancer-free individuals, the frequency increased with age; 0.23% under 50 and 1.91% between 75 and 79 (p=4.8×10−8). Mosaic abnormalities were more frequent in individuals with solid-tumors (0.97% versus 0.74% in cancer-free individuals, OR=1.25, p=0.016), with a stronger association for cases who had DNA collected prior to diagnosis or treatment (OR=1.45, p=0.0005). Detectable clonal mosaicism was common in individuals for whom DNA was collected at least one year prior to diagnosis of leukemia compared to cancer-free individuals (OR=35.4, p=3.8×10−11). These findings underscore the importance of the role and time-dependent nature of somatic events in the etiology of cancer and other late-onset diseases.
doi:10.1038/ng.2270
PMCID: PMC3372921  PMID: 22561519
23.  Liver Retransplantation in Adults: The Largest Multicenter Italian Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46643.
This study is the largest Italian survey on liver retransplantations (RET). Data report on 167 adult patients who received 2 grafts, 16 who received 3 grafts, and one who received 4 grafts over a 11 yr period.
There was no statistically significant difference in graft survival after the first or the second RET (52, 40, and 29% vs 44, 36, and 18% at 1,5,and 10 yr, respectively: Log-Rank test, p = 0.30).
Survivals at 1, 5, and 10 years of patients who underwent 2 (n = 151) or 3 (n = 15) RETs, were 65, 48,and 39% vs 59, 44, and 30%, respectively (p = 0.59).
Multivariate analysis of survival showed that only the type of graft (whole vs reduced) was associated with a statistically significant difference (HR = 3.77, Wald test p = 0. 05); the donor age appeared to be a relevant factor as well, although the difference was not statistically significant (HR = 1.91, Wald test p = 0.08).
Though late RETs have better results on long term survival relative to early RETs, no statistically significant difference can be found in early results, till three years after RET.
Considering late first RETs (interval>30 days from previous transplantation) with whole grafts the difference in graft survival in RETs due to HCV recurrence (n = 17) was not significantly different from RETs due to other causes (n = 53) (65–58 and 31% vs 66–57 and 28% respectively at 1–5 and 10 years, p = 0.66).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046643
PMCID: PMC3465332  PMID: 23071604
24.  A gene expression signature from peripheral whole blood for stage I lung adenocarcinoma 
Affordable early screening in subjects with high risk of lung cancer has great potential to improve survival from this deadly disease. We measured gene expression from lung tissue and peripheral whole blood (PWB) from adenocarcinoma cases and controls to identify dysregulated lung cancer genes that could be tested in blood to improve identification of at-risk patients in the future. Genome-wide mRNA expression analysis was conducted in 153 subjects (73 adenocarcinoma cases, 80 controls) from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study using PWB and paired snap-frozen tumor and non-involved lung tissue samples. Analyses were conducted using unpaired t-tests, linear mixed effects and ANOVA models. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was computed to assess the predictive accuracy of the identified biomarkers. We identified 50 dysregulated genes in stage I adenocarcinoma versus control PWB samples (False Discovery Rate ≤0.1, fold change ≥1.5 or ≤0.66). Among them, eight (TGFBR3, RUNX3, TRGC2, TRGV9, TARP, ACP1, VCAN, and TSTA3) differentiated paired tumor versus non-involved lung tissue samples in stage I cases, suggesting a similar pattern of lung cancer-related changes in PWB and lung tissue. These results were confirmed in two independent gene expression analyses in a blood-based case-control study (n=212) and a tumor-non tumor paired tissue study (n=54). The eight genes discriminated patients with lung cancer from healthy controls with high accuracy (AUC=0.81, 95% CI=0.74–0.87). Our finding suggests the use of gene expression from PWB for the identification of early detection markers of lung cancer in the future.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0170
PMCID: PMC3188352  PMID: 21742797
microarray gene expression; peripheral blood; lung cancer; stage I
25.  Early Adolescents and Substance Use 
Journal of Addiction  2012;2013:307845.
1300 students (54.3% girls) 13–16 years old were interviewed in the urban area of Bologna during 2010. Random effect multiple logistic regression models were used. Results show a reciprocal relationship between alcohol use, tobacco, and cannabis. Most users were offered cannabis, began using at 14 years of age, and do not believe using is very dangerous. They live with only one parent, have more than 50 euros of spending money per month, and abuse alcohol, abuse that increases relative to the intensity of cigarette smoking. Legal/illegal dichotomy seems to overturn, where alcohol becomes a “drug” and the use of tobacco, similar to other drugs, is motivated as a solution to reduce anxiety, combat boredom, relax, and to ease loneliness.
doi:10.1155/2013/307845
PMCID: PMC4007738  PMID: 24804142

Results 1-25 (43)