Funding for this research was provided by:
The Department of Cardiologic, Vascular, and Thoracic Sciences and Public Health, University of Padua
Received: 18 July 2019
Accepted: 30 December 2019
First Online: 14 January 2020
Ethics approval and consent to participate
: Data were treated with full confidentiality in accordance with Italian legislation and no ethics committee’s approval was needed. Before the database was made available to the authors, patient identifiers were replaced with anonymous codes. It was unnecessary to obtain patients’ informed consent, given the anonymous nature of the data and its mandatory recording (anonymized data may be analyzed and used in aggregate form for scientific studies without further authorization). In fact, the data analysis was performed on anonymized aggregate data with no chance of individuals being identifiable. The study complied with the Declaration of Helsinki and with the recent resolution n. 9/2019 of the Italian Guarantor for the Protection of Personal Data which also confirmed the allowability of processing personal data for medical, biomedical and epidemiological research, and that data concerning health status may be used in aggregate form in scientific studies. To ensure confidentiality and anonymity Veneto Region removes all direct identifiers (e.g. identifier health code number) and substitutes with a code the identifier number in all data sets, nonetheless permitting the linkage of different administrative database.
: Not applicable.
: The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose. Alessandra Buja is a member of the editorial board (Associate Editor) of this journal, but that they had no role in the editorial process of this article.