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Epidemiology of Leishmaniasis in Spain Based on Hospitalization Records (1997–2008)

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  • Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and Medical Immunology and Microbiology, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain; Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Leishmaniasis Control Program, Department of Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva 27, Switzerland
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All the records from the Spanish information system for hospital data of patients diagnosed with leishmaniasis during a 12-year period (1997–2008) were studied. The 2,028 individuals were hospitalized because of leishmaniasis, as indicated by the principal diagnostic code. The average hospitalization rate was 0.41/100,000 inhabitants. One-third of them were co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The incidence of hospitalization in the adult population with leishmaniasis co-infected with HIV increased with age, peaked at 35–39 years of age and subsequently declined. In the pediatric population, all leishmaniasis cases occurred in HIV-negative children. Incidence of hospitalizations was highest in Madrid and in the Mediterranean coast. The cost per inpatient hospital care was $9,601 corresponding to an annual direct cost of more than $1.5 million for inpatient care alone. The economical burden of leishmaniasis is not neglectable and in the 12-year study period it represented more than $19 million.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Angel Gil de Miguel, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and Medical Immunology and Microbiology, Office 202, Rey Juan Carlos University, Avda, de Atenas s/n, 28922 Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain. E-mail: ruth.gil@urjc.es
†These two authors contributed equally to this work.

Authors' addresses: Ruth Gil-Prieto and Angel Gil de Miguel, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and Medical Immunology and Microbiology, Offices 217 and 202, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain, E-mails: ruth.gil@urjc.es and angel.gil@urjc.es. Stefan Walter, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Office 2187, Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, E-mail: s.walter@erasmusmc.nl. Jorge Alvar, Leishmaniasis Control Program, Department of Neglected Tropical Diseases, Office L344, World Health Organization, Geneva 27, Switzerland, E-mail: alvarj@who.int.

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