Mastrandrea, Scilla and Stegel, Giovanni and Piseddu, Toni and Ledda, Sonia and Masala, Giovanna (2012) A Retrospective study on burden of human echinococcosis based on hospital discharge records from 2001 to 2009 in Sardinia, Italy. Acta Tropica, Vol. 123 (3), p. 184-189. eISSN 1873-6254. Article.
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Cystic Echinococcosis (CE) is an infective zoonosis that represents a worldwide important public health problem. In humans, its manifestations may range from asymptomatic infection to severe disease and possible death, and lead to economic losses from treatment costs and lost wages. Recent studies suggest that this disease has a large social impact in endemic areas, and estimates of burden in terms of monetary and no-monetary impact on human health are essential to allocate financial and technical resources. In Sardinia, the most affected Italian region per number of inhabitants, CE is still endemic, although three eradication campaigns have been carried out in 1962, 1978, and 1987, respectively. To date, the burden of human CE in Sardinia remains poorly defined. In this work, a retrospective study was carried out using public Hospital Discharge Records spanning from 2001 to 2009. During these years, a total of 1409 discharges were recorded: 1196 (84.88%) records corresponding to patients hospitalized for symptoms directly correlated to CE (primary diagnosis), and 213 (15.11%) records corresponding to patients hospitalized for symptoms not directly correlated to CE and with an afterwards or concurrent diagnosis of echinococcosis made during the hospitalization (secondary diagnosis). The annual regional average record (discharge rate) was 9.3/100,000 inhabitants. Direct cost associated with diagnosis, surgery or chemotherapy, medical care, and hospitalization in humans were evaluated in this work. Furthermore, burden of disease was also evaluated by using the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), the preferred disease-burden measure of the World Health Organization. Knowing the burden of human CE in Sardinia is extremely important to enable the prioritization of control measures for this preventable neglected disease. This is the first study describing the measure of the overall disease burden in an Italian region endemic for this disease, performed by calculating the number of CE patients from Hospital Discharge Records.
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