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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


SOUZA, Verena Maria Mendes de; ARSKY, Maria de Lourdes Nobre Simões; CASTRO, André Peres Barbosa de  and  ARAUJO, Wildo Navegantes de. Years of potential life lost and hospitalization costs associated with leptospirosis in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.6, pp.1001-1008.  Epub Sep 23, 2011. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate costs of hospitalization and years of potential life lost associated with leptospirosis. METHODS: Databases of the Brazilian Ministry of Health's information system were used to carry out probabilistic linkage of cases and hospitalizations leading to death by leptospirosis in 2007. Within the Information System for Notifiable Diseases, confirmed cases were subdivided into hospitalization and death. These were then linked to the Hospital Information System (records with primary diagnosis) and the Mortality Information System (underlying cause of death A27.0, A27.8, and A27.9) databases. The partial cost of hospitalization, deaths by disease, and years of potential life and work lost, were estimated. RESULTS: Most hospitalizations leading to death occurred among males aged 18-49 years, of white ethnicity, living in urban areas, and with incomplete elementary education. Years of potential life lost amounted to 6,490, 75% of which were in the 20-49 years age group. When adjusted for the population, this loss represented 15 days of life/thousand persons. The ratio of years of potential life lost to number of deaths was on average 30 years per death. The estimated financial impact amounted to R$ 22.9 million in non-earned wages. Hospitalization costs totaled R$ 831.5 thousand. Estimated days of wages lost per admission period (median: 6 days) amounted to R$ 103.0 thousand. CONCLUSIONS: There was a high social cost in terms of years of potential life lost and partial hospital costs associated with leptospirosis when compared to the possibility of early treatment or prevention of infection, both of which could minimize the impact of the disease on the Brazilian population.

Keywords : Leptospirosis, economics; Hospitalization; Health Care Costs; Potential Years of Life Lost.

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