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The Epidemiology of Transition into Adulthood of Rare Diseases Patients: Results from a Population-Based Registry

Rare Diseases Coordinating Center, Rare Diseases Registry, Veneto Region, 35100 Padua, Italy
Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of Padua, 35100 Padua, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2212;
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
Background: Despite the fact that a considerable number of patients diagnosed with childhood-onset rare diseases (RD) survive into adulthood, limited information is available on the epidemiology of this phenomenon, which has a considerable impact both on patients’ care and on the health services. This study describes the epidemiology of transition in a population of RD patients, using data from the Veneto Region Rare Diseases Registry (VRRDR), a web-based registry monitoring since 2002 a consistent number of RD in a defined area (4.9 million inhabitants). Methods: Longitudinal cohorts of patients born in the years 1988 to 1998 and enrolled in the VRRDR in their paediatric age were identified. Data referred to this group of patients, experiencing transition from paediatric to adult age during the years 2006–2016, are presented. Results: 2153 RD patients (44.1% females and 55.9% males) passed from childhood to adulthood in the study period, corresponding to a 3-fold increase from 2006 to 2016. The majority of these patients was affected by congenital anomalies (32.0%), by hematologic diseases (15.9%), eye disorders (12.1%) and neoplasms (7.9%). RD patients who experienced transition from paediatric age to adulthood represent the 9.2% of adult patients enrolled in the Registry at 31 December 2016. Conclusions: We described a subset of RD young adults experiencing transition into adulthood. The data reported can be considered as minimum values for estimating the size of this increasing population presenting specific transition needs. These figures are valuable for clinicians, patients and health planners. Public policy interventions are needed in order to promote dedicated care transition pathways in the broader framework of health policies devoted to RD. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare diseases; registry; epidemiology; transition rare diseases; registry; epidemiology; transition
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Mazzucato, M.; Visonà Dalla Pozza, L.; Minichiello, C.; Manea, S.; Barbieri, S.; Toto, E.; Vianello, A.; Facchin, P. The Epidemiology of Transition into Adulthood of Rare Diseases Patients: Results from a Population-Based Registry. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2212.

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