Epidemiological study of onychomycosis in older adults with onychodystrophy

Emanuele Cozzani, Arianna Fay Agnoletti, Stefania Speziari, Irene Schiavetti, Mirca Zotti, Agostino Persi, Francesco Drago, Aurora Parodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To identify the prevalence of onychomycosis and epidemiological features in older adults (>65%) with toenail onychodystrophy. In particular, the aim of the study was to analyze risk factors/protective factors, clinical manifestations, comorbidities and etiological agents. Methods: A prospective study was carried out from February 2012 to May 2012 at San Martino-IST of Genoa, Italy. The inclusion criteria for enrolment were the presence of onychodystrophy of one or more toenails and age >65years. The exclusion criteria were systemic/topical antifungal treatments in the previous 6months, drilling of the nail plate in the previous 6months and a specialist's diagnosis or suspicion of onychomycosis. A database was created for the patients' anamnesis, the clinics and testing results. Several statistical analyses were carried out. Results: A total of 100 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. A total of 35 cases had positive results, and the etiological agent was isolable in 14 cases. The most represented was Trichophyton mentagrophytes followed by Trichophyton rubrum and others. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed the significant roles of sex and diabetes as risk factors, and the use of statins as a protective factor. Conclusions: Onychomycosis has a high prevalence in older adults with onychodystrophy. It is important not to overlook onychodystrophy, and to carry out laboratory testing to exclude a fungal infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2015


  • Elders
  • Epidemiology
  • Onychodystrophy
  • Onychomycosis
  • Protective factors
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Health(social science)


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