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Project title: Italian Surveillance System on determinants of health in young children

Duration of the project2013 – current

Main Topic

In recent years, the scientific community has stressed the need to invest in the first 1,000 days of life – the time spanning between conception and the 2nd birthday – because it is during this period that the foundations of health are laid and whose effects will be present throughout the life and may influence the next generation.
Taking into account this recommendations, since 2013, the Ministry of Health has promoted and funded Italian Surveillance System on determinants of health in young children (Sorveglianza Bambini 0-2 anni), entrusting its coordination to the National Institute of Health.
Recognised by the national decree on registries and surveillance systems of national interest of 3rd March 2017, the “Sorveglianza Bambini 0- 2 anni” to date includes 12 Italian Regions.



The objective of “Sorveglianza Bambini 0- 2 anni” is collects and disseminates the information on determinants of health in young children.


Type of study

The target population is the mothers that fill out a questionnaire, translated in several languages, during the main vaccination sessions of their children aged 0-2 years. All Italian regions are taking part with samples representative at regional or at Local Health Services level.
The topics investigated are: folic acid assumption, parents’ plan to vaccinate their children, breastfeeding, tobacco and alcohol consumption during pregnancy and lactation, parents’ attitude to reading aloud to their children, cradle position, exposure to screens, environmental safety and general information concerning their cultural and social background.
All the interviews are carry out by trained health staff working in vaccination services.


Title of WP or Activity on inequalities

The surveillance data 0-2 years allow us to monitor the indicators of the determinants of children’s health also in light of the socio-demographic characteristics of the mothers and the geographical area of residence. These characteristics play an important role with respect to the adoption of risky or protective behaviors for the child’s health by mothers and therefore with respect to the health inequalities that have observed since early childhood.



Responsible of the project: Enrica Pizzi (

Responsible of the WP/Activity on inequalities: Enrica Pizzi (, Serena Donati (,  Marta Buoncristiano (, Laura Lauria (, Michele Antonio Salvatore (, Angela Spinelli (

Department/Center: National Centre for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Project website: