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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 Aug;54(8):643-9.

The effect of leprosy-induced deformity on the nutritional status of index cases and their household members in rural South India: a socio-economic perspective.

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1
School of Health Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether the socioeconomic and nutritional status of cured leprosy patients with residual deformity, and their household members, was lower than that of cured leprosy patients without deformity.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SUBJECTS:

One hundred and fifty-five index cases with deformity, 100 without deformity. Also 616 household members comprising 48% of the total members enumerated.

MEASUREMENTS:

Nutritional status was evaluated using anthropometry. Disease characteristics, socio-economic parameters and household information were recorded using a questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Index cases with deformity had lower community acceptance (P<0.001), and employment (P<0.001) than those cases without deformity. Households of index cases with deformity had a lower income (P<0.01) and a lower expenditure on food (P<0.05). The presence of deformity (odds ratio (OR): 2.1-3.2, P<0.01), unemployment (OR: 2.3-4.3, P<0.01) and female gender (OR: 2.4, P<0. 01) significantly increased the risk of index cases being undernourished, as judged by body mass index (BMI) alone, or BMI and mid-upper arm circumference. A low BMI (<18.5) in the index case significantly increased the odds of other adults (OR 2.2), adolescents (OR 2.9-3.8) and children (OR 2.2) in the household being undernourished.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cured leprosy index cases with physical deformity are more undernourished than index cases without deformity. This is associated with a reduced expenditure on food, possibly brought on by increased unemployment, and a loss of income. Undernutrition in the index case increases the risk of undernutrition in other members of the family. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000) 54, 643-649.

PMID:
10951513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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