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1.  The impact of drug eluting stents availability on the treatment choice among medical therapy, percutaneous or surgical revascularisation and on 4-year clinical outcome in patients with coronary artery disease: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001926.
To investigate the influence of the availability of drug eluting stents (DES) on treatment choice (TC) among medical therapy (MT), coronary by-pass surgery (CABG) or percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) and the consequent clinical outcomes in patients hospitalised because of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Observational study comparing two cohorts hospitalised immediately before, and 3 years after DES availability.
Thirteen hospitals with cardiology facilities.
2131 consecutive patients with at least one coronary stenosis >50% at coronary angiography (CA) after exclusion of those with acute myocardial infarction or previous CABG or associated relevant valvular disease.
Main outcome measures
Treatment choice after CA and 4-year clinical outcomes.
TC among MT (27% vs 29.2%), PCI (58.6% vs 55.5%) and CABG (14.5% vs 15.3%) was similar in the DES and bare metal stent (BMS) periods (p = 0.51). At least one DES was implanted in 57% of patients treated with PCI in 2005. After 4 years, no difference in mortality (13.8% vs 13.2%, p = 0.72), hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (6.6% vs 5.2%, p = 0.26), stroke (2.2% vs 1.7%, p = 0.49) and further revascularisations (22.3% vs 19.7%, p = 0.25) were observed in patients enrolled in the DES and BMS periods. Only in patients with Syntax score 23–32 a significant change of TC (p = 0.0002) occurred in the DES versus BMS period: MT in 17.4% vs 31%, PCI in 62.2% vs 35.8%, CABG in 20.3% vs 33.2%, with similar 4-year combined end-point of mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction and further revascularisations (45.3% vs 34.2%, p = 0.087).
Three years after DES availability, the TC in patients with CAD has not changed significantly as well as the 4-year incidence of death, myocardial infarction, stroke and further revascularisations. In subgroup with Syntax score 23–32, a significant increase of indications to PCI was observed in the DES period, without any improvement of the 4-year clinical outcome.
PMCID: PMC3488738  PMID: 23103608
2.  Evidence‐based policy on road safety: the effect of the demerit points system on seat belt use and health outcomes 
Objective: To assess the effect of a demerit points system, introduced in Italy in July 2003, on the prevalence of seat belt use (intermediate outcome) and the number of road traffic deaths and injuries (health outcomes).
Design: Pre‐ and post‐intervention regional observational study for seat belt investigation (April 2003, October 2004); national time‐series analysis of road traffic deaths and injuries between 1999 and 2004 for health outcomes.
Setting: Veneto region, Italy.
Participants: 19 551 drivers, 19 057 front passengers and 8123 rear passengers estimated to be aged over 11 years were included in the investigation into seat belt use. 38 154 fatalities and 1 938 550 injured subjects were examined for the time‐series analysis.
Interventions: Demerit points system.
Main outcome measures: The proportions of drivers and front and rear passengers observed to be using seat belts before and after the intervention; estimates of lives and injuries saved through the implementation of a penalty points system.
Results: The demerit points system was followed by an increase in observed seat belt use of 51.8% (95% confidence interval 48.7% to 54.9%) among drivers, of 42.3% (95% confidence interval 39.2% to 45.5%) among front passengers and of 120.7% (95% confidence interval 99.4% to 144.3%) among rear passengers. It is estimated that 1545 (95% confidence interval 1387 to 1703; p<0.0001) deaths and 91 772 (95% confidence interval 67 762 to 115 783; p<0.0001) injuries were prevented in the 18 months after the introduction of the legislation, i.e. an 18% reduction (1545/8570) in fatalities and a 19% reduction (91 772/473 048) in injuries.
Conclusions: The demerit points system is effective both in encouraging drivers and passengers to adhere to the law and in terms of health outcomes, substantially contributing to road safety.
PMCID: PMC2652965  PMID: 17873223
demerit points system; road traffic injuries; seat belts; traffic law enforcement; evidence‐based policy
3.  Monitoring the occurrence of diabetes mellitus and its major complications: the combined use of different administrative databases 
Diabetes mellitus is a growing public health problem, for which efficient and timely surveillance is a key policy. Administrative databases offer relevant opportunities for this purpose. We aim to monitor the incidence of diabetes and its major complications using administrative data.
Study design and methods
We study a population of about 850000 inhabitants in the Veneto Region (Italy) from the end of year 2001 to the end of year 2004. We use four administrative databases with record linkage. Databases of drug prescriptions and of exemptions from medical charge were linked to identify diabetic subjects; hospital discharge records and mortality data were used for the assessment of macrovascular and renal complications and vital status.
We identified 30230 and 34620 diabetic subjects at the start and at the end of the study respectively. The row prevalence increased from 38.3/1000 (95% CI 37.2 – 39.5) to 43.2/1000 (95% CI 42.3 – 44) for males and from 34.7/1000 (95% CI 33.9 – 35.5) to 38.1/1000 (95% CI 37.4 – 39) for females. The mean row incidence is 5.3/1000 (95% CI 5 – 5.6) person years for males and 4.8/1000 (95% CI 4.4 – 5.2) person years for females. The rate of hospitalisations for cardiovascular or kidney diseases is greatly increased in diabetic people with respect to non diabetics for both genders. The mortality relative risk is particularly important in younger age classes: diabetic males and females aged 45–64 years present relative risk for death of 1.7 (95% CI 1.58 – 1.88) and 2.6 (95% CI 2.29 – 2.97) respectively.
This study provides a feasible and efficient method to determine and monitor the incidence and prevalence of diabetes and the occurrence of its complications along with indexes of morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC1804263  PMID: 17302977

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