Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989
HACKER, Mariana A. et al. A profile of patients treated at a national leprosy outpatient referral clinic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1986-2007. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.6, pp.485-491. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000600006.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze a profile of patients treated at a national leprosy outpatient referral clinic in metropolitan Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, over a period of more than two decades, and the subgroup of nationally registered leprosy cases from the same residential area, as well as all registered cases statewide. METHODS: An observational, descriptive analysis was carried out for patients treated from 1986 to 2007 at the Souza Araújo Outpatient Clinic (Ambulatório Souza Araújo, ASA), a national referral center for the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) that serves clients from the city of Rio de Janeiro and other municipalities in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro State. Demographic and clinical data for the subgroup of leprosy cases registered with Brazil's National Disease Notification System (Sistema Nacional de Informação de Agravos de Notificação, SINAN) between 2001 and 2007 and residing in the same municipalities as the ASA patients, and for all registered cases statewide, were also analyzed. RESULTS: Among the ASA patients, there was a decrease in average family income (from 3.9 to 2.7 times the minimum salary between the periods 1998-2002 and 2003-2007); the proportion of multibacillary (MB) patients (from 52.7% to 46.9%); and the proportion of patients younger than 15 years old (from 12.8% to 8.7%). Among the MB patients, the average initial and final bacilloscopic indices were significantly higher in 2003-2007. Compared with the SINAN cases, more ASA cases involved disability and were younger than 15 years old. CONCLUSIONS: Patients living with leprosy in the metropolitan area of the state of Rio de Janeiro belong to the most deprived social strata and have not benefited from the overall improvement in socioeconomic conditions in Brazil.
Keywords : Leprosy, outpatient clinics, hospital; socioeconomic factors; social inequality; Brazil.