Migration among individuals with leprosy: a population-based study in central Brazil

Cad Saude Publica. 2014 Mar;30(3):487-501. doi: 10.1590/0102-311x00005913.


This study investigates social and clinical factors associated with migration among individuals affected by leprosy. A cross-sectional study was conducted among those newly diagnosed with leprosy (2006-2008), in 79 endemic municipalities in the state of Tocantins, Brazil (N = 1,074). In total, 76.2% were born in a municipality different from their current residence. In the five years before diagnosis 16.7% migrated, and 3.6% migrated after leprosy diagnosis. Findings reflect aspects associated with historical rural-urban population movement in Brazil. Indicators of poverty were prominent among before-diagnosis migrants but not after-diagnosis migrants. Migration after diagnosis was associated with prior migration. The association of multibacillary leprosy with migration indicates healthcare access may be an obstacle to early diagnosis among before-diagnosis migrants, which may also be related to the high mobility of this group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Endemic Diseases*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leprosy / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Rural Population
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult