Leprosy in a University Hospital in Southern Brazil


An. Bras. Dermatol.




AbstractBACKGROUND:Leprosy is an infectious disease that may lead to irreversible nerve damage, compromising patient's quality of life and leading to loss of working years.OBJECTIVES:To evaluate the epidemiological profile of patients followed at a University Hospital.MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective observational study, based on a review of medical records. We studied the clinical and epidemiological features of patients with leprosy monitored at the Hospital de Clínicas of the Federal University of Paraná between January 2005 and January 2010.RESULTS:The mean age was 47.51, while 35.94% of patients were aged 41-60. The male:female rate was 1.8:1. The most prevalent occupations were: retired, students or rural workers. Patients came mainly from Curitiba or nearby areas, but there were also patients from the countryside. The mean diagnostic delay was 24.57 months. Multibacillary forms prevailed, with the lepromatous variety being the most common, closely followed by the borderline type. Neural enlargement was found in more than 50% of the patients and 48.44% of them developed reactional states. Hemolysis was the most commonly detected drug side effect. Initial functional evaluation was possible in 70% of patients, 55% of whom had disabilities upon diagnosis. The most prevalent associated disease was hypertension.CONCLUSIONS:This study showed an important diagnostic delay and a high rate of sequelae in this specific population. Brazil is one of the few remaining countries that has not yet eradicated leprosy and it is important to improve health policies in order to prevent sequelae and achieve eradication.

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