[Social reproduction of leprosy: a study of patients profile with leprosy in the city of São Paulo].
This study discusses the relationship between work and living conditions among leprosy patients enrolled in the São Paulo municipal public health system in 1996. Social patterns were studied based on the theory of social determination of the health-disease process. The main purpose of the study was to emphasize evidence of the disease determination network, seeking new knowledge to improve public policies on leprosy. Data were gathered from a sample of leprosy patients registered in the city's public health system. Although patients' families are characterized by a common social thread, different work/life possibilities allow for a classification of patients into three social groups. The majority belong to groups that are marginalized from social production, living in areas where social exclusion is more extreme, on the outskirts of the city. If the trends in this study persist, incident leprosy cases will result from the social exclusion of migrants from Brazil's Southeast and Northeast. The study also discusses the position of young people and female patients in the determination network of this infectious disease in the city of São Paulo.