“The vote with which the Senate today definitively approved, unanimously, the law establishing national pediatric screening for Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease for all children aged 0 to 17 is a splendid example of good politics.”
Giorgio Mulè, Vice-President of the Chamber, Deputy of Forza Italia
- Thanks to Beyond Celiac for This Announcement
- Viola Rita, 12 September 2023, repubblica.it/salute 1
What the law Provides for Pediatric Screening
The bill for the identification of type I diabetes and celiac disease in the pediatric population requires a ministerial decree to define criteria for the adoption of a multi-year screening program on a national basis in the pediatric population, for the identification of antibodies of type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.
It provides for the establishment of a national observatory on type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, and provides for the carrying out of periodic information and awareness campaigns by the Ministry of Health. The economic investment for screening was foreseen by the 2023 budget law.
The Senate unanimously approved, with 141 votes in favour, no against and no abstentions, the bill ‘Provisions concerning the definition of a diagnostic program for the identification of type 1 diabetes and celiac disease in the pediatric population ‘. The text, already approved by the Chamber of Deputies, is law.
Why Early Diagnosis of Diabetes and Celiac Disease is Important
Early diagnosis of both diabetes and celiac disease is a fundamental form of prevention of complications, even very serious ones, that a late diagnosis can bring.
Application Times and Costs
The screening will start from 2024 and an expenditure of 3.85 million euros is expected for each of the years 2024 and 2025 and of 2.85 million euros per year starting from the year 2026. The ministry will also promote periodic information campaigns on the importance of early diagnosis in pediatric age, with funds amounting to 150,000 euros per year starting from 2024.
The Applause of Pediatricians and Diabetologists
- “It is a law of great importance, because the early identification of subjects at high risk for type 1 diabetes can prevent the onset of diabetes in serious clinical conditions such as require hospitalization and such as to put the child’s life at serious risk.
- This eventuality can in fact occur if the subject does not know that he or she is at risk”, states Raffaella Buzzetti, president-elect of the Italian Society of Diabetology (Sid) and professor full professor of Endocrinology at La Sapienza University of Rome.
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
A chronic, autoimmune disease, dependent on an alteration of the immune system, which involves the destruction of the pancreatic cells that produce insulin (beta cells), the hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood . Early prevention is therefore crucial, especially in light of the growing numbers:
- “The incidence and prevalence of type 1 diabetes are increasing in the world and also in Italy. In particular, according to the Italian Ridi register – explains Buzzetti – they have increased in recent years by approximately 3% and the prevalence in the 0-18 age group is one case in a thousand individuals”.
There are approximately 300,000 patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in Italy and 10% of them are under the age of 18.
Celiac Disease – a Growing Disease
According to the latest estimates from the Italian Society of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Pediatric Nutrition (Sigenp), one in 60 children in Italy is affected, but 6 out of 10 remain undiagnosed. This is one of the highest figures in the world. It is therefore necessary to increase diagnoses, specialists warn, to prevent long-term consequences.
A Milestone in Preventive Medicine
- “The vote with which the Senate today definitively approved, unanimously, the law establishing national pediatric screening for type 1 diabetes and celiac disease for all children aged 0 to 17 is a splendid example of good politics. Italy, thanks to all the parliamentarians who have decided to support my bill, is today the first country in the world to have equipped itself with such an innovative instrument to protect the health, and in many cases the life, of our children”.
This was stated by Giorgio Mulè, vice-president of the Chamber, deputy of Forza Italia and first signatory of the bill, definitively approved today by the Senate, containing ‘Provisions concerning the definition of a diagnostic program for the identification of type 1 diabetes and celiac disease in the pediatric population.
“As early as next year we will see the fruits of this law hailed by the international scientific community as a milestone in preventive medicine. I would like to extend particular thanks to the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, for the sensitivity with which he accompanied the law , approved in just 10 months from its presentation as evidence of the excellent work carried out by the House and Senate”, he concludes.