Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
GOMES, Cícero Cláudio Dias; PONTES, Maria Araci de Andrade; GONCALVES, Heitor de Sá and PENNA, Gerson Oliveira. Clinical and epidemiological profile of patients diagnosed with leprosy in a reference center in the notheast of Brazil. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2005, vol.80, suppl.3, pp. S283-S288. ISSN 1806-4841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962005001000004.
BACKGROUND: Leprosy continues to represent a serious public health problem worldwide. Knowledge of epidemiological characteristics of the disease is an important tool for the endemy control. OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of patients diagnosed with leprosy during 2004, in a Reference Center in the Northeast of Brazil. METHODS: We analyzed the records referring to patients who entered de active register of the Center of Dermatology Dona Libânia, in Fortaleza, Ceará, from January to december 2004. RESULTS: Out of 967 cases that entered this Center in this year, 909 were new detected cases. About 7,7% were between zero e 14 years old, and distribution per gender was of 483(49,95%) men and 484(50,05%) women. Most of them presented the borderline clinical form (54,6%), and 82,2% resided in the city of Fortaleza/CE. Measurement of disabilities degree in diagnosis was made in 94,2% of the patients, and 21,7% of total showed a degree different from zero. CONCLUSION: Based in the results, we noted a high percentual (7,7%) of patients under fifteen years old, associated with low percentual of indeterminate forms and a high percentual of cases with disabilities at diagnosis. These factors are expressive enough to make the authorities consider the difficulties to reach the goal of eliminating leprosy by the end of 2005, and the necessity of new approaches and strategies to control leprosy endemy.
Keywords : Leprosy; Leprosy [epidemiology]; Leprosy [prevention & control].