Individual correlates of podoconiosis in areas of varying endemicity: a case-control study

Molla, Yordanos B, Le Blond, Jennifer S, Wardrop, Nicola, Baxter, Peter, Atkinson, Peter M, Newport, Melanie J and Davey, Gail (2013) Individual correlates of podoconiosis in areas of varying endemicity: a case-control study. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 7 (12). e2554. ISSN 1935-2735

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Podoconiosis is a non-filarial form of elephantiasis resulting in lymphedema of the lower legs. Previous studies have suggested that podoconiosis arises from the interplay of individual and environmental factors. Here, our aim was to understand the individual-level correlates of podoconiosis by comparing 460 podoconiosis-affected individuals and 707 unaffected controls.

METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS

This was a case-control study carried out in six kebeles (the lowest governmental administrative unit) in northern Ethiopia. Each kebele was classified into one of three endemicity levels: 'low' (prevalence <1%), 'medium' (1-5%) and 'high' (>5%). A total of 142 (30.7%) households had two or more cases of podoconiosis. Compared to controls, the majority of the cases, especially women, were less educated (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.3 to 2.2), were unmarried (OR = 3.4, 95% CI = 2.6-4.6) and had lower income (t = -4.4, p<0.0001). On average, cases started wearing shoes ten years later than controls. Among cases, age of first wearing shoes was positively correlated with age of onset of podoconiosis (r = 0.6, t = 12.5, p<0.0001). Among all study participants average duration of shoe wearing was less than 30 years. Between both cases and controls, people in 'high' and 'medium' endemicity kebeles were less likely than people in 'low' endemicity areas to 'ever' have owned shoes (OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.4-0.7).

CONCLUSIONS

Late use of shoes, usually after the onset of podoconiosis, and inequalities in education, income and marriage were found among cases, particularly among females. There were clustering of cases within households, thus interventions against podoconiosis will benefit from household-targeted case tracing. Most importantly, we identified a secular increase in shoe-wearing over recent years, which may give opportunities to promote shoe-wearing without increasing stigma among those at high risk of podoconiosis.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0251 Constitutional diseases (General)
Depositing User: pam Thompson
Date Deposited: 12 May 2014 14:42
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2017 10:01
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/48357

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