Melanoma in the Italian Population and Regional Environmental Influences: A National Retrospective Survey on 2001-2008 Hospitalization Records

This study was undertaken to assess the burden of regional environmental factors influencing the incidence of Melanoma in the Italian population and overcome the problem of partial population coverage by local cancer registries and thematic archives. The authors analysed the Italian national hospitalisation records from 2001 to 2008 provided by the Ministry of Health, excluding hospital re-admissions of the same patients, in order to assess the occurrence of Melanoma over an 8-year period. Data were presented by age groups (absolute number of cases from 20 to ?80 years old) and per Region (rates per 100,000 inhabitants) for each year. The overall number of new hospitalisations due to malignant Melanoma increased by 16.8% from 2001 (n = 4846) to 2008 (n = 5823), with the rate per 100,000 inhabitants passing from 10.5 to almost 12.0 at a national level. The majority of new diagnoses of malignant Melanoma was observed in two age groups: 61-70 years old (from 979 in 2001 up to 2109 in 2008, corresponding to 15.1 and 18.1 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively) and 71-80 years old (from 954 in 2001 up to 1141 in 2008, corresponding to 19.5 and 21.8 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively). The number of hospitalisations due to Melanoma increased in all age groups with the only exception of the youngest patients aged 20-30 years old. The highest increases over the 8-year period were observed in people aged ?81 years old (+34%), 61-70 years old (+20%) and surprisingly in the age group 31-40 years old (+17%). Southern Regions showed lower hospitalization rates compared to Northern Italy and Region Lazio. The highest increases between 2001 and 2008 were observed in Trentino/Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Valla d’Aosta and Veneto Region. The authors concluded that hospitalisations due to malignant Melanoma in Italy seem to be influenced by environmental or population-related factors showing a decreasing incidence rate from the Northern to Southern Regions.

Authors: Piscitelli P, Neglia C, Falco A, Rivezzi M, Agnello N, Argentiero A, Chitano G, Distante C, Rosa GD, Vinci G, De Donno A, Distante A, Romanini A. ;Full Source: International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health. 2015 Aug 5;12(7):9102-18. doi:10.3390/ijerph120809102. ;