European Journal of Public Health 2019 February 7 [Link]
BACKGROUND: This work is aimed at evaluating the quality of Italian hospitalizations data about asbestosis and silicosis, assessing the impact of these diseases on the national health system and providing advice related to public health.
METHODS: Italian hospital discharge data (2001-15) with diagnosis of asbestosis or silicosis were analysed by the multiple correspondence analysis and diseases epidemics were evaluated through hospitalization rates.
RESULTS: Hospitalizations were concentrated in the northwestern area, referred mainly to males and oldest people, the most treated tumors were lung cancer and mesothelioma (for asbestosis) and cares were aimed at reducing symptoms and increasing blood oxygenation. Overall adjusted Italian hospitalization rates of asbestosis and silicosis were, respectively, 25.2 and 74.9 per 1 000 000 residents. With respect to asbestosis, hospitalizations treating silicosis reported doubled mortality (10.5 vs. 5.7%), longer stays (10.4 vs. 8.6 mean days) and older patients (77 vs. 72 years on average). Diseases rates reduced over time (with a steeper slope for silicosis) and in both fibroses increased hospital mortality (92.1% in asbestoses, 59.5% in silicoses) and percentage of urgent hospitalizations (116.0% in asbestoses, 56.6% in silicoses). CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalizations data regarding asbestosis and silicosis are consistent. Silicosis had a higher impact than asbestosis on the Italian health system. Although data show decreasing incidence of both fibroses, multiple correspondence analysis highlights that levels of illness severity were higher in silicosis and increased over time in both diseases. Further studies investigating the effectiveness of the current health surveillance programs concerning these diseases are suggested.