Moli-sani (www.moli-sani.org) is a study project aiming at evaluating the risk factors (environmental, genetics, biomolecular) linked to chronic-degenerative disease with particular regard to cancer, cardiovascular disease and their intermediate phenotypes hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Launched in March 2005, the Moli-sani Project involved around 25.000 citizens resident in Molise Region.
The project has been conducting for several years making a very in-depth analysis and screening of the environmental and genetic factors of the regional population, underlying cardiovascular diseases, tumors and neurodegenerative diseases.
The risk of being affected by these diseases depends on many elements, the so-called “risk factors”. Some are related to genetics. They have been there since the birth, written in the cells, and cannot be changed. Others depend on the environment and in particular on how a person lives and eats and in general on daily behaviors. So, the nutrition, as health factor, has a central role in the project study. The Moli-sani study transformed an entire region into a large scientific laboratory. The project is coordinated by Fondazione Giovanni Paolo II – Campobasso and I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed – Pozzilli. The project has also contributed to international research with various research works, and which today continues without interruption.
The Molise laboratory
Molise, as Italian Region, has maintained many characteristics unchanged over time, with a considerable genetic and cultural homogeneity. Even if there are different marine, hilly and mountainous areas in the region with different characteristics. The inhabitants are basically following the Mediterranean diet but with some differences. The mosaic of similarities and differences is also object of study to understand the factors, such as the diet, that may influence the cardiovascular and cancer diseases.
The information collected
During the first phase of the project, the so-called “baseline”, citizens involved in Moli-sani study underwent a thorough medical examination and answered questionnaires relating to their state of health, the environment in which they live, eating and life styles. Blood and urine samples were also collected, both to be analyzed immediately, delivering the results to the participants themselves, and to be stored in the Project’s Biological Bank.
A project without time limits
Participants in the Moli-sani project continue to be followed regularly. Changes in their health, or in their lifestyle habits, are in fact constantly monitored by researchers. And with the start of the “follow-up” phase, a new major operation has started, which will take several years and which will see all 25.000 citizens being invited to undergo new checkups.
Close to the people of Molise
The Moli-sani study brought with it many other initiatives aimed at the population of this region. Information campaigns, local meetings, collaborations with the cultural and medical centers in Molise, aimed at spreading the most current and important concepts of disease prevention through a healthy lifestyle.
To know more about the project