The antidoping control in horseraces in Italy.
The results and the improvement of the analytical procedures adopted for the control of doping in horses will be reported. This control has been systematically carried out in Italy for about 10 years in the laboratories of Italian Federation of Sport and Medicine in which the biological samples for the control of doping in various sport activities (football, cycling, athletics etc.) are also examined. In this way it is possible to use the same instruments for all these similar problems and compare the results. The analytical procedure is based on the following steps: 1) Extraction of the samples (mainly urine but sometimes blood or saliva). 2) Screening tests by thin-layer chromatography. 3) Confirmatory tests by gas chromatography on different columns and also by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. These single steps will be separately discussed, and practical problems encountered will be presented. (+info)
Comparative total mortality in 25 years in Italian and Greek middle aged rural men.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: Mortality over 25 years has been low in the Italian and very low in the Greek cohorts of the Seven Countries Study; factors responsible for this particularity were studied in detail. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTINGS: 1712 Italian and 1215 Greek men, aged 40-59 years, cohorts of the Seven Countries Study, representing over 95% of the populations in designated rural areas. DESIGN: Entry (1960-61) data included age, systolic blood pressure (SBP), smoking habits, total serum cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), arm circumference, vital capacity (VC), and forced expiratory volume in 3/4 seconds (FEV); the same data were obtained 10 years later. Multivariate Cox analysis was performed with all causes death in 25 years as end point. MAIN RESULTS: Italian men had higher entry levels of SBP, arm circumference, BMI, and VC; Greek men had higher cholesterol levels, smoking habits, and FEV. Mortality of Italian men was higher throughout; at 25 years cumulative mortality was 48.3% and 35.3% respectively. Coronary heart disease and stroke mortality increased fivefold in Italy and 10-fold in Greece between years 10 and 25. The only risk factor with a significantly higher contribution to mortality in Italian men was cholesterol. However, differences in entry SBP (higher in Italy) and FEV (higher in Greece) accounted for, according to the Lee method, 75% of the differential mortality between the two populations. At 10 years increases in SBP, cholesterol, BMI, and decreases in smoking habits, VC, FEV, and arm circumference had occurred (deltas). SBP increased more and FEV and VC decreased more in Italy than in Greece. Deltas, fed stepwise in the original model for the prediction of 10 to 25 years mortality, were significant for SBP, smoking, arm circumference, and VC in Greece, and for SBP and VC in Italy. CONCLUSION: Higher mortality in Italian men is related to stronger positive effects of entry SBP and weaker negative (protective) effects of FEV; in addition 10 year increases in SBP are higher and 10 year decreases in FEV are larger in Italy. Unaccounted factors, however, related to, for example, differences in the diet, may also have contributed to the differential mortality of these two Mediterranean populations. (+info)
Methodological issues in biomonitoring of low level exposure to benzene.
Data from a pilot study on unmetabolized benzene and trans,trans muconic acid (t,t-MA) excretion in filling station attendants and unexposed controls were used to afford methodological issues in the biomonitoring of low benzene exposures (around 0.1 ppm). Urinary concentrations of benzene and t,t-MA were measured by dynamic head-space capillary GC/FID and HPLC, respectively. The accuracy of the HPLC determination of t,t-MA was assessed in terms of inter- and intra-method reliability. The adequacy of urinary t,t-MA and benzene as biological markers of low benzene exposure was evaluated by analysing the relationship between personal exposure to benzene and biomarker excretion. Filling station attendants excreted significantly higher amounts of benzene, but not of t,t-MA, than controls. Adjusting for occupational benzene exposure, smokers excreted significantly higher amounts of t,t-MA, but not of unmetabolized benzene, than nonsmokers. A comparative analysis of the present and previously published biomonitoring surveys showed a good inter-study agreement regarding the amount of t,t-MA and unmetabolized benzene excreted (about 0.1-0.2 mg/l and 1-2 micrograms/l, respectively) per unit of exposure (0.1 ppm). For each biomarker, based on the distribution of parameters observed in the pilot study, we calculated the minimum sample size required to estimate the population mean with given confidence and precision. (+info)
Cohort study of art glass workers in Tuscany, Italy: mortality from non-malignant diseases.
This investigation studies cause-specific mortality of art glass workers employed in 17 industrial facilities in Tuscany, Italy. A cohort of 3,390 workers employed for at least 1 year was enumerated from company payrolls. Follow-up was between the start of employment in each factory and 31 December 1993. The cause-specific expected mortality was computed relative to Tuscany rates and specified for gender, 5-year age groups and calendar year. Separate analyses were carried out for the jobs of makers and formers and for batch mixers. Among males (3, 180 individuals) observed mortality for non-cancer causes was higher than expected for hypertensive disease [standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 178, 90% confidence interval (90% CI) = 96-301], pneumoconiosis (SMR = 200, 90% CI = 94-376) and diseases of the genitourinary system (SMR = 169, 90% CI = 95-279). Increases for the above causes were shown also among makers and formers: hypertensive disease (SMR = 182, 90% CI = 85-341), pneumoconiosis (SMR = 250, 90% CI = 109-493) and diseases of the genitourinary system (SMR = 224, 90% CI = 121-380). For batch mixers an increase was present for cerebrovascular disease. The observed mortality for cancer causes was above the expected for cancers of the larynx, lung, stomach and brain. This study points to the existence for Tuscan glass workers of health effects in addition to cancer; previously observed carcinogenic effects were also confirmed. (+info)
Legionnaires' disease on a cruise ship linked to the water supply system: clinical and public health implications.
The occurrence of legionnaires' disease has been described previously in passengers of cruise ships, but determination of the source has been rare. A 67-year-old, male cigarette smoker with heart disease contracted legionnaires' disease during a cruise in September 1995 and died 9 days after disembarking. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 was isolated from the patient's sputum and the ship's water supply. Samples from the air-conditioning system were negative. L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates from the water supply matched the patient's isolate, by both monoclonal antibody subtyping and genomic fingerprinting. None of 116 crew members had significant antibody titers to L. pneumophila serogroup 1. One clinically suspected case of legionnaires' disease and one confirmed case were subsequently diagnosed among passengers cruising on the same ship in November 1995 and October 1996, respectively. This is the first documented evidence of the involvement of a water supply system in the transmission of legionella infection on ships. These cases were identified because of the presence of a unique international system of surveillance and collaboration between public health authorities. (+info)
Seroepidemiological evaluation of 1989-91 mass vaccination campaigns against measles, in Italy.
In 1989-91 anti-measles vaccination campaigns were conducted in several Italian regions to vaccinate all children aged between 13 months and 10-12 years without a history of measles or measles vaccination. This study was conducted to evaluate serological status after the mass vaccination campaigns. In 1994, capillary blood samples were collected from randomly selected children, aged 2-14 years, living in 13 local health units. Antibody titres were determined by ELISA. Blood spot samples were analysed for 4114 (75.6%) of 5440 selected children. Among the 835 that reported measles before 1990, 806 (96.5%) were immune and of the 2798 vaccinated, 2665 (95.2%) were immune. The Edmoston-Zagreb (E-Z) strain vaccine was associated with a lower level of immunity than the Schwarz (SW) strain. A history of measles identified almost all immune children. Vaccination with the SW strain conferred persistent immunity (at least 5 years) in 98% of vaccinees. The strategy was able to unite natural and induced immunity. (+info)
Family study of inherited syndrome with multiple congenital deformities: symphalangism, carpal and tarsal fusion, brachydactyly, craniosynostosis, strabismus, hip osteochondritis.
A syndrome of brachydactyly (absence of some middle or distal phalanges), aplastic or hypoplastic nails, symphalangism (ankylois of proximal interphalangeal joints), synostosis of some carpal and tarsal bones, craniosynostosis, and dysplastic hip joints is reported in five members of an Italian family. It may represent a previously undescribed autosomal dominant trait. (+info)
Antibiotic resistance conferred by a conjugative plasmid and a class I integron in Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strains isolated in Albania and Italy.
Multidrug-resistant Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strains isolated during the 1994 outbreak of cholera in Albania and Italy were characterized for the molecular basis of antibiotic resistance. All strains were found to be resistant to tetracycline, streptomycin, spectinomycin, trimethoprim, sulfathiazole, and the vibriostatic compound O/129 (2,4-diamino-6,7-diisopropylteridine). Resistance genes were self-transferable by a conjugative plasmid of about 60 MDa, with the exception of spectinomycin resistance, which was conferred by the aadA1 gene cassette located in the bacterial chromosome within a class 1 integron. The resistance to trimethoprim and O/129 was conferred by the dfrA1 gene, which was present on the plasmid. Although the dfrA1 gene is known to be borne on an integron cassette, class 1, 2, or 3 intI genes were not detected as part of the plasmid DNA from the strains studied. (+info)