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The causes of physical disability in municipalities of the northeast of Brazil and an estimate of costs of specialized services

The population of the northeast of Brazil is characterized by high rates of endogamy and disabilities. An epidemiological cross-sectional study using the informant method was conducted in eight communities in the hinterlands of Paraiba to describe genetic and acquired diseases that cause disabilities and to estimate the costs of specialized services such as physiotherapy and the acquisition of technological assistential equipment. From a population of 48,499 inhabitants, 338 individuals were screened and 123 (0.34%) were clinically, genetically and functionally assessed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. Genetic factors were responsible for 58.5% of the disabilities, with some clusters of prevalent diseases being found within the sampled communities, namely progressive spinal muscular atrophy, spinocerebellar ataxia, muscular dystrophy and Spoan syndrome. The socioeconomic profile and the demand for rehabilitation services and technological assistance highlight the need to introduce and implement specific public health policies in these communities.

Disability; Epidemiology; Consanguinity; Community Assistential and Genetic Technology

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