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1.  The Geographical Pattern of Thyroid Cancer Mortality Between 1980 and 2009 in Italy 
Thyroid  2013;23(12):1609-1618.
Background: Mortality for thyroid cancer (TC) is low and has been decreasing worldwide; yet few population studies based on mortality have been conducted. Several nonradiation risk factors have been associated with TC, including residence in goiter-endemic areas (as an indicator of iodine deficiency). We used mortality data to perform a spatial-temporal analysis regarding TC in Italy and investigated the association between mortality and socioeconomic status and geographical features (residing in a mountainous area is a proxy for iodine deficiency).
Methods: We analyzed data from Italy's National Mortality Database (1980–2009). To evaluate temporal trends in mortality the age-standardized death rate (ASR) was used; to identify geographic areas with excess deaths due to TC standardized mortality rates (SMR) were calculated. We also calculated the rate ratios (RR) of the ASR and the 95% CI by sex. We performed a cluster analysis to identify municipalities with major departures from expected mortality, both in the entire study period and in two separate periods to evaluate the spatial-temporal variability. Finally, we evaluated the association between mortality and index of deprivation and altitude.
Results: There were 16,473 deaths due to TC (10,690 females, 5783 males). The mean ASR was unsurprisingly low (0.58/100.000). There was a trend of decrease in mortality throughout Italy (−42% for 2007–2009 vs. 1980–1984), more pronounced among women. The decrease was greater in the north. Four geographic clusters were identified when considering the entire study period, two in the north and two in the south; however, the clusters in northern Italy refer to the earlier period (1980–1994) and those in southern Italy to the later period (1995–2009). Mortality was associated with residing in a mountainous area. A slight association with high socioeconomic status was found.
Conclusions: This study reveals space-time differences in TC mortality in Italy. It shows an association between mortality and residing in mountainous areas, which is a proxy of iodine deficiency. The observed temporal north–south shift cannot be explained by socioeconomic differences, whereas the efficient prophylaxis program implemented in the 1980s in some areas of northern Italy can help to explain the disappearance of the clusters in those areas in the period 1995–2009.
PMCID: PMC3868258  PMID: 23668719
2.  European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Consensus Guidelines on Screening, Diagnosis, and Management of Congenital Hypothyroidism 
The aim was to formulate practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of congenital hypothyroidism (CH).
A systematic literature search was conducted to identify key articles relating to the screening, diagnosis, and management of CH. The evidence-based guidelines were developed with the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system, describing both the strength of recommendations and the quality of evidence. In the absence of sufficient evidence, conclusions were based on expert opinion.
Consensus Process:
Thirty-two participants drawn from the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and five other major scientific societies in the field of pediatric endocrinology were allocated to working groups with assigned topics and specific questions. Each group searched the literature, evaluated the evidence, and developed a draft document. These papers were debated and finalized by each group before presentation to the full assembly for further discussion and agreement.
The recommendations include: worldwide neonatal screening, approaches to assess the cause (including genotyping) and the severity of the disorder, the immediate initiation of appropriate L-T4 supplementation and frequent monitoring to ensure dose adjustments to keep thyroid hormone levels in the target ranges, a trial of treatment in patients suspected of transient CH, regular assessments of developmental and neurosensory functions, consulting health professionals as appropriate, and education about CH. The harmonization of diagnosis, management, and routine health surveillance would not only optimize patient outcomes, but should also facilitate epidemiological studies of the disorder. Individuals with CH require monitoring throughout their lives, particularly during early childhood and pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC4207909  PMID: 24446653
4.  The Italian National Register of infants with congenital hypothyroidism: twenty years of surveillance and study of congenital hypothyroidism 
All the Italian Centres in charge of screening, diagnosis, and follow-up of infants with congenital hypothyroidism participate in the Italian National Registry of affected infants, which performs the nationwide surveillance of the disease. It was established in 1987 as a program of the Health Ministry and is coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità. The early diagnosis performed by the nationwide newborn screening programme, the prompt treatment and the appropriate clinical management of the patients carried out by the Follow-up Centres, and the surveillance of the disease performed by the National Register of infants with congenital hypothyroidism are the components of an integrated approach to the disease which has been successfully established in our country.
The aim of the Register is to monitor efficiency and effectiveness of neonatal screening, to provide disease surveillance and to allow identification of possible aetiological risk factors for the disease. During the past twenty years the active and continuous collaboration between the Register and the Italian Screening and Follow up Centres for Congenital Hypothyroidism allowed to perform a standardization of screening procedures and considerable improvements in the time at starting treatment and in the dose of therapy. Furthermore, the large amount and the high quality of information collected in the Register provided a unique opportunity for research into the disease. This because data collected in the Register are highly representative as referred to the entire Italian population with congenital hypothyroidism. The results derived from the epidemiological studies performed in these years, by using the Register database, contributed to deepen the knowledge of congenital hypothyroidism, to start identifying the most important risk factors for the disease, and to orient molecular studies aimed at identifying new genes involved in the aetiology of this condition.
PMCID: PMC2687542  PMID: 19490661

Results 1-4 (4)