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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1561-3127Print version ISSN 0864-3466


COBAS RUIZ, Marcia et al. Epidemiological characterization of disabled persons in Cuba. Rev. cub. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.36, n.4, pp.306-310. ISSN 1561-3127.

Introduction Disability is a complex topic, with great social and economic impact and inaccurate estimates. Objectives Identify and characterize every disabled person in Cuba. Methods Cross-sectional descriptive epidemiological research study carried out from 2001 to 2003. The study covered the whole Cuban population, particularly the disabled persons. The community-wide active screening detected registered and non-registered persons with some disability, thanks to the support of local governments and social organizations. Home visits paid to disabled persons allowed combining interviews and clinical exams to facilitate the process of classification and registration of these people. The coverage rate of the study was estimated at 99,9% of the total number of disabled persons throughout the country. Results The study analyzed 366 864 people with disabilities, which led to a prevalence rate of 3,26 per 100 inhabitants. Guantanamo province reached 4,13, being the province with the highest rate whereas Ciudad de La Habana exhibited the lowest rate (2,13). The highest rate of disability was found in the 60 and over years-old group and in males. Intellectual disability was prevailing in terms of frequency, followed by physical-motor disability. Conclusions The number of individuals with some disability detected in Cuba was almost three times the initial universe of registered disabled, so the real prevalence of the problem had been underestimated. The disability prevalence rates and their distribution according to the characteristics of individuals and provinces in Cuba have patterns similar to those described in other publications.

Keywords : Disability; epidemiology; prevalence; active screening; Cuba.

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