Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
OPROMOLLA, Paula A; DALBEN, Ivete and CARDIM, Márcio. Geostatistical analysis of leprosy cases in the State of São Paulo, 1991-2002. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.40, n.5, pp. 907-913. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102006000600022.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the spatial pattern of leprosy case occurrences in order to identify areas with a probability of disease transmission risks. METHODS: This was an ecological study in which the analysis units were municipalities in the State of São Paulo that were georeferenced at their centroids. The data source was the electronic database of notified leprosy cases at the Epidemiological Surveillance Center of the State of São Paulo, from 1991 to 2001. Geostatistical techniques were used for detecting areas with a probability of leprosy risk, and for quantifying the spatial dependency of cases. RESULTS: The spatial dependence detected extended outwards to 0.55 degrees from the georeferenced coordinates, which corresponded to approximately 60 km. The main areas identified as presenting a probability of risk were the northeastern, northern and northwestern regions of the State. CONCLUSIONS: Verification of areas with the probability of leprosy risk using spatial dependence analysis may be a useful tool for assessing health conditions and planning budget allocations.
Keywords : Leprosy [epidemiology]; Residence characteristics; Geographic information systems; Ecological studies.