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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 219143, 6 pages
Research Article

Identification of Urban Leprosy Clusters

1Department of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo, Avenida Trabalhador São-Carlense, 400, Arnold Schimidt, 13566-590 São Carlos, SP, Brazil
2Nursing Department, School of Medicine of São José do Rio Preto-FAMERP, Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima 5416, Vila São Pedro, 15090-000 São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
3Institute Adolfo Lutz, Regional Laboratory, Rua Alberto Sufredini Bertoni 2325, Maceno, 15060-020 São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
4Lauro de Souza Lima Institute, Rod Comandante João Ribeiro de Barros, km 225, 17034-971 Bauru, SP, Brazil
5Mercator Engineering and Consulting GIS, Rua Voluntários de São Paulo 3439, 15015-200 São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil

Received 16 August 2013; Accepted 8 September 2013

Academic Editors: J. P. Ackers and Y. Renaudineau

Copyright © 2013 José Antonio Armani Paschoal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Overpopulation of urban areas results from constant migrations that cause disordered urban growth, constituting clusters defined as sets of people or activities concentrated in relatively small physical spaces that often involve precarious conditions. Aim. Using residential grouping, the aim was to identify possible clusters of individuals in São José do Rio Preto, Sao Paulo, Brazil, who have or have had leprosy. Methods. A population-based, descriptive, ecological study using the MapInfo and CrimeStat techniques, geoprocessing, and space-time analysis evaluated the location of 425 people treated for leprosy between 1998 and 2010. Clusters were defined as concentrations of at least 8 people with leprosy; a distance of up to 300 meters between residences was adopted. Additionally, the year of starting treatment and the clinical forms of the disease were analyzed. Results. Ninety-eight (23.1%) of 425 geocoded cases were located within one of ten clusters identified in this study, and 129 cases (30.3%) were in the region of a second-order cluster, an area considered of high risk for the disease. Conclusion. This study identified ten clusters of leprosy cases in the city and identified an area of high risk for the appearance of new cases of the disease.