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Revista Cubana de Higiene y Epidemiología

On-line version ISSN 1561-3003


MOREIRA RIOS, Isabel et al. Approach to the risk factors for leprosy based on social determinants of health. Rev Cubana Hig Epidemiol [online]. 2014, vol.52, n.1, pp.4-14. ISSN 1561-3003.

Objectives: identify the risk factors for leprosy on the basis of health determinants. Methods: cross-sectional observational descriptive study. The sample consisted of all the leprosy cases reported in the province from 2009 to May 2011. Data were obtained from notifiable disease cards and epidemiological surveys. The summary measurement used was percentage. Results: the main risk factors identified were the following: in human biology, multibacillary infection; in the environment, living with positive bacilloscopy patients; in health care, failure of the health system, since spontaneous detection prevails; and in life styles, the individual behavior of migrations. From a socioeconomic point of view, 40.7 % of patients had a low schooling level. Conclusions: these are important socioeconomic risk factors. It is a well known fact that Mycobacterium leprae is a communicable germ requiring special conditions to manifest its pathogenicity: individual immunogenic reception conditioning and most of all immunoreactive alterations determined by socioeconomic factors depressing the defense mechanisms against bacterial invasion in population groups living in crowded conditions, with nutritional deficits and metabolic alterations, as well as a number of poverty-related factors typical of underdeveloped countries, which play a decisive role in the development of the disease.

Keywords : leprosy; risk factors; health determinants.

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