Patterns of migration and risks associated with leprosy among migrants in Maranhão, Brazil

Murto, Christine, Chammartin, Frédérique, Schwarz, Karolin, da Costa, Lea Marcia Melo, Kaplan, Charles, and Heukelbach, Jorg (2013) Patterns of migration and risks associated with leprosy among migrants in Maranhão, Brazil. PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease, 7 (9). e2422. pp. 1-8.

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Abstract

Leprosy remains a public health problem in Brazil with new case incidence exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) goals in endemic clusters throughout the country. Migration can facilitate movement of disease between endemic and non-endemic areas, and has been considered a possible factor in continued leprosy incidence in Brazil. A study was conducted to investigate migration as a risk factor for leprosy. The study had three aims: (1) examine past five year migration as a risk factor for leprosy, (2) describe and compare geographic and temporal patterns of migration among past 5-year migrants with leprosy and a control group, and (3) examine social determinants of health associated with leprosy among past 5-year migrants. The study implemented a matched case-control design and analysis comparing individuals newly diagnosed with leprosy (n = 340) and a clinically unapparent control group (n = 340) without clinical signs of leprosy, matched for age, sex and location in four endemic municipalities in the state of Maranhão, northeastern Brazil. Fishers exact test was used to conduct bivariate analyses. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was employed to control for possible confounding variables. Eighty cases (23.5%) migrated 5-years prior to diagnosis, and 55 controls (16.2%) migrated 5-years prior to the corresponding case diagnosis. Past 5 year migration was found to be associated with leprosy (OR: 1.59; 95% CI 1.07–2.38; p = 0.02), and remained significantly associated with leprosy after controlling for leprosy contact in the family, household, and family/household contact. Poverty, as well as leprosy contact in the family, household and other leprosy contact, was associated with leprosy among past 5-year migrants in the bivariate analysis. Alcohol consumption was also associated with leprosy, a relevant risk factor in susceptibility to infection that should be explored in future research. Our findings provide insight into patterns of migration to localize focused control efforts in endemic areas with high population mobility.

Item ID: 32036
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1935-2735
Keywords: leprosy; migration; Brazil
Additional Information:

© 2013 Murto et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Brazilian Research Council, Department of Science and Technology of the Brazilian Ministry of Health (DECIT)
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2014 00:02
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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