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Lab Health-related statistical modeling

Health-related statistical modeling

Research interests

Our research group aims to develop and apply statistical models to determine health determinants, investigate trajectories of disability and explore causal relationships. Moreover the group has expertise in the drafting of research protocols, by contributing with the study design, randomization procedures, determination of sample size and statistical analysis plan, and final reports.

It has a consolidate experience in analyzing and harmonizing big survey datasets, coming from national and international longitudinal studies, with the purpose of making cross countries comparison on health state, physical and cognitive functioning, social networks and wellbeing. For these analyses ad hoc methodologies are applied, such as Structural Equation Models (SEMs). SEMs are the combination of a measurement model that defines latent variables using one or more observed variables and a structural regression model that links latent variables together. The statistical methodology of SEMs investigates the real world complexity by taking into account a number of causal relationships among latent variables, each of them measured by several observed (or manifest) variables.

Additionally, the group has an interest in the genetics of common disease. On Type 1 Diabetes, family data are analyzed using linkage analysis, moreover stratification procedures, based on previous significant findings, are applied with an ad hoc program set up on computer simulation. Genome Wide Association approach are applied to big case-control population data in order to identify association between genetic variants (Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms, SNPs) and a specific trait of interest (complex disease). Candidate-gene approach are applied on breast cancer population to identify a potential personalized pharmacological therapy for affected patients.

Ongoing Studies

International projects
WHO Study on global aging and adult health (SAGE): Harmonizing health outcomes and determinants across longitudinal studies on aging

European projects
Models of Child Health Appraised (MOCHA), a study of Primary Health Care in 30 European Countries
Pensions, health and wellbeing of older people in low and middle income countries. Insights from the WHO SAGE survey
Collaborative Research on Ageing in Europe (COURAGE in Europe): investigate determinants of health and disability in an ageing population, with specific tools for the evaluation of the role of the built environment and social networks on health, disability, quality of life and well-being

National projects
Identification of Determinants of Healthy Aging in Italy (IDAGIT): effect of social networks and features of built environment on disability, quality of life and well-being in Italian adults
Adjuvant anti-estrogen therapy in women with breast cancer: possibility of a personalized approach 


Lab team

nadia minucciNadia Minicuci barbara corsoBarbara Corso IlariaRocco Ilaria Rocco