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Avoidable hospitalisation for diabetes mellitus among immigrants and natives: Results from the Italian Network for Longitudinal Metropolitan Studies

Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases (2020) 30, 1535e1543


Italy has experienced a relevant increase in migration inflow over the last 20 years. Although the Italian Health Service is widely accessible, immigrants can face many barriers that limit their use of health services. Diabetes mellitus (DM) has a different prevalence across ethnic groups, but studies focusing on DM care among immigrants in Europe are scarce. This study aimed to compare the rates of avoidable hospitalisation (AH) between native and immigrant adults in Italy.

Methods and results

A multi-centre open cohort study including all 18- to 64-year-old residents in Turin, Venice, Reggio-Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Rome between 01/01/2001 and 31/12/2013–14 was conducted. Italian citizens were compared with immigrants from high migratory pressure countries who were further divided by their area of origin. We calculated age-, sex- and calendar year-adjusted rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) of AH for DM by citizenship using negative binomial regression models. The RRs were summarized using a random effects meta-analysis. The results showed higher AH rates among immigrant males (RR: 1.63, 95% CI: 1.16–2.23), whereas no significant difference was found for females (RR: 1.14, 95% CI: 0.65–1.99). Immigrants from Asia and Africa showed a higher risk than Italians, whereas those from Central-Eastern Europe and Central-Southern America did not show any increased risk.


Adult male immigrants were at higher risk of experiencing AH for DM than Italians, with differences by area of origin, suggesting that they may experience lower access to and lower quality of primary care for DM. These services should be improved to reduce disparities.

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Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases
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ultima modifica 2021-02-15T14:22:49+01:00
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