Recent trends in new case detection rates in leprosy by age and sex in Gudiyatham Taluk, Tamil Nadu, India.
In the race towards eradication of leprosy, the emphasis has shifted from prevalence to new case detection rates which are proxyfor true incidence rates. There is great need for reliable data on new case detection rates over time, classified by age and sex. In this paper, the trend of age specific and sex specific new cases detection rates, from 2001 to 2009, for the field area of Schieffelin Institute of Health-Research and Leprosy Centre are presented and implications discussed. The appropriate age distribution of Census of India 2001 was used to estimate the age distribution of the area. Three year moving averages were computed for age specific rates. The age group 55+ had the highest rate among all age groups from 2002 to 2006 and afterwards declined a little. The rates of ages 15-34 and 35-54 were high and their patterns over 2002 to 2008 were the same. The specific rates of children (0-14) were declining generally through 2002 to 2008. The specific rates of males were slightly higher than the females all through 2001 to 2009 but the difference between male and female rates was not significant at anyyear (P > 0.05).