Ministero della Difesa

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Epidemiological Monitoring of Military Personnel Deployed to Balkans

Lavoro e Sicurezza - Roberto Biselli

Roma,  21 marzo 2013

In 2012 the Osservatorio Epidemiologico della Difesa (OED) - i.e. the Italian Ministry of Defense Epidemiological Monitoring Centre – started a survey in cooperation with the National Centre for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion  of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS)  aimed to asses if the incidence of morbidity and mortality from malignant neoplasia in military personnel deployed to Balkans (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo) from 1994 to 2005 (approx. 70,000 military) is within the expected rate found in an adequate sample population.

Sample population encompasses personnel of Carabinieri Corps who have never been deployed to theaters abroad; sample size, gender and age are comparable; since 1st January 1995 all personnel were on active duty.
Thus far OED could assess mortality and morbidity rate from this pathology only on the basis of notifications concerning personnel on active duty, inasmuch retired military personnel are managed by the Italian National Heath Service.
The above mentioned epidemiologic survey will allow to spot diagnosis of neoplastic pathology among the entire military population examined regardless of if they are on active duty or retired.

The survey will examine ISTAT  data as for mortality, and Hospital Discharge Papers (at Ministry of Health disposal) as for morbidity.
The survey has already been presented to the Italian Data Protection Authority for evaluation.

The Authority (pursuant to article 154 of Data Protection Code and article 6 of Code of Conduct and Professional Practice applying to the processing of personal data for statistical and scientific research purposes) upheld the request for releasing a brief information paper to persons concerned in order to inform about the survey.

The information paper can be consulted on ISS web site, Ministry of Defense web site and on Ministry of Defense publications.

To consult the brief information paper to persons concerned please click here.