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New data dissect global burden of scabies


 

FROM THE LANCET INFECTIOUS DISEASES

 

Scabies hits hardest in tropical parts of the world, and children and teens are most affected by the condition, based on data from a global epidemiological assessment.

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“GBD is based on formal, systematic, and statistically rigorous analyses of effects of disease and injuries on the health of populations,” the researchers said. They used the GBD to determine disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 countries between 1990 and 2015 with breakdowns by 20 age groups and both sexes.

Overall, the prevalence of scabies worldwide was 204,151,715, and the age-standardized DALYs was 71/100,000 people. The highest DALYs in terms of world regions were reported in East Asia (136/100,000), Southeast Asia (135/100,000) the region described as Oceania (120/100,000) (which included American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and others), tropical Latin America (100/100,000), and South Asia (69/100,000). Scabies caused 0.21% of DALYs from all the conditions that are studied by GBD 2015 globally. The mean percent change in age-standardized DALY from 1990 to 2015 increased 22% in North America, but the age-standardized DALY still remained less than 5/100,000.

In addition, global DALYs from scabies skin infection were highest in children aged 1-4 years (116/100,000 individuals) and adolescents aged 15-19 years (102/100,000). DALYs were not significantly different between men and women across all age groups, Dr. Karimkhani and her associates reported.

“As a worldwide epidemiological assessment, GBD 2015 provides broad and frequently updated measures of scabies burden in terms of skin effects. These global data might help guide research protocols and prioritization efforts and focus scabies treatment and control measures,” the researchers said.

Of note is that these analyses do not include information about complications of scabies such as impetigo, local and systemic bacterial infections, glomerulonephritis, and rheumatic fever.

The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.

Read the full study here: (Lancet Infect. Dis. 2017. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099[17]30483-8).
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