The COVID-19 incidence in Italian regions correlates with low temperature, mobility and PM10 pollution but lethality only with low temperature

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  • Mauro Giovanni Carta
    Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0706-9687
  • Luigi Minerba
    Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1894-9495
  • Roberto Demontis
    Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Germano Orrù
    Molecular Biology Service Lab, Department of Surgical Science, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1032-4431
  • Ferdinando Romano
    University La Sapienza, Rome , Italy.
  • Alessandra Scano
    Molecular Biology Service Lab, Department of Surgical Science, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4385-8002
  • Angelo Restivo
    Colorectal Surgery Unit, Department of Surgical Science, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Stefano Del Giacco
    Internal Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Simona Deidda
    Colorectal Surgery Unit, Department of Surgical Science, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7756-9727
  • Davide Firnu
    Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5768-391X
  • Marcello Campagna
    Occupational Health Section, Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Federico Meloni
    Occupational Health Section, Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy , Italy. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8120-2103
  • Giulia Cossu
    Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Federica Sancassiani
    Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7963-5281
  • Luchino Chessa
    Center for the Study of Liver Diseases, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Cagliari , Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9474-0995
  • Goce Kalcev
    International Ph.D. in Innovation Sciences and Technologies, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0351-6577
  • Roberto Littera
    Complex Structure of Medical Genetics, R. Binaghi Hospital, Area Socio-Sanitaria Locale (ASSL) Cagliari, Azienda per la Tutela della Salute (ATS), Cagliari, Italy.
  • Luigi Zorcolo
    Colorectal Surgery Unit, Department of Surgical Science, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4086-9144
  • Cesar Ivan Aviles-Gonzale
    Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Italy.
    https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1566-1974
  • Paolo Usai
    Colorectal Surgery Unit, Department of Surgical Science, University of Cagliari, France.

ABSTRACT

Background: The aim was to verify whether the density of particulate matter (PM10), the climate, and the mobility of people can influence the pandemic in the 19 regions and in the two autonomous Italian provinces as incidence rate and lethality.
Design and Methods: The incidence rates per 100,000 inhabitants and the case fatality ratio (CFR) (dependent variables) in all Italian regions were calculated in January 2021 at John Hopkins University Coronavirus Center. The independent variables were: -Minimum average temperatures in the same month (January) of 2020, -Average pollution of PM10 in the air in each region in the last year available reported on a 0-10 scale to 0 = total absence of PM10 to 10 maximum pollutions. -Number of places in hotels occupied per inhabitants in 2020. Linear regression and Multiple Regression Analysis were carried out.
Results: The spread of the COVID-19 in the Italian regions seems to be related to pollution of PM10, the number of beds occupied in hotels (as an index of mobility and temperature (indirect correlation). On the contrary, the CFR correlates inversely with temperature but not with pollution. Measuring the concomitant effect of two independent variables by means of Multiple Regression Analysis, temperature and pollution show a synergistic effect on COVID-19 incidence.
Conclusions: The study seems to confirm the literature on the influence of temperature on the lethality of COVID-19 but adds the new results of an inverse relationship between the spread of the virus and low temperature in regions between the Mediterranean area (which includes southern Italy and Sicily and Sardinia islands) and the cold European temperate zone which includes the northern regions under the Alps. A new date also concerns the summation effect of the risk between cold weather and PM10 air pollution was found. Due to several methodic weakness the study has an exploratory than conclusive relevance.

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