Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
URBINA TORIJA, Juan Román; GARCIA SALAZAR, Mª del Pilar; LETON PASTOR, Mª de las Mercedes and RUIZ PEREZ, Raquel. Leprosy epidemiology through the study of demands in a specialised hospital. Trillo 1943-1995. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.71, n.5, pp. 463-477. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57271997000500005.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to describe the social-demographic and clinical profile of hospitalised leprosy patients and to check whether typology has changed during the history of the centre. METHODS: Descriptive and retrospective study, performed by means of reviewing a sample of the patient records registered at the Centre since it was founded in 1943 until 1995. 366 cases were chosen by means of a systematic random sample and questionnaires completed on social-demographic and clinical variables. RESULTS: Most of the patients were male (71.9%, IC: 67.3-76.4), young (39.6 years of age, IC: 37.9-41.4), single (46.2%, IC: 41-51.3%) with low levels of education (illiteracy: 54.1%, IC: 40-69) with occupations relating to farming (35.5%, IC: 30.6-40.4) from Southern Spanish regions (patients from Andalucía 52.8%, IC: 45.8-54). The disease showed a family background in 31.1% of cases (IC: 26.4-35.9) and serious multi-bacillary forms (Lepromatose Leprosy 66.1%, IC: 61.2-71), which affected lower limbs in 72.1% of cases, heads in 63.1% and upper limbs in 64.4%. Global mortality of people admitted to hospital was 31.1% (IC: 26.4-35.9). During the surveyed period, patient age increased, and symptoms and mortality decreased. In general, hospital stays were for long periods (7.1 years, IC: 6.1-8.1), although at the end of the surveyed period, stays decreased considerably, in accordance with the duration of treatment (2.2 years). CONCLUSIONS: A young male, in a precarious financial situation living in the South of Spain appear to be the patient profile which, with severe initial anatomical symptoms and later favourable results may represent the disease in a country with an autochthonous endemy and characteristic epidemiology, which is in the pre-eradication phase.
Keywords : Leprosy; Epidemiology; Clinical profile.