Home Artificial Nutrition (HAN) is a safe and efficacious technique that insures children's reintegration into the family, society and school. Epidemiological data on paediatric HAN in Italy are not available.
AIM: to detect the prevalence and incidence of Home Parenteral Nutrition (HPN) and Home Enteral Nutrition (HEN), either via tube or mouth, in Italy in 2016.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: a specific form was sent to all registered SIGENP members and investigators of local HAN centres, inviting them to provide the requested centre's data and demographics, underlying diseases and HAN characteristics of the patients.
RESULTS: we recorded 3403 Italian patients on HAN aged 0 to 19 years from 22 centres: 2277 HEN, 950 Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) and 179 HPN programs. The prevalence of HEN (205 pts/million inhabitants) and HPN (16 pts/million inhabitants) has dramatically increased in Italy in the last 9 years. Neurodisabling conditions were the first indication for HEN by tube or mouth while HPN is mainly requested in digestive disorders.
CONCLUSIONS: HAN is a widespread and rapidly growing treatment in Italy, as well as in other European countries. Awareness of its extent and characteristics helps improving HAN service and patients' quality of life.