Excess mortality among people with podoconiosis: secondary analysis of two Ethiopian cohorts

Masraf H, Azemeraw T, Molla M, Jones CI, Bremner S, Ngari M, Berkley JA, Kivaya E, Fegan G, Tamiru A, Kelemework A, Lang T, Newport MJ, Davey G
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2020;114

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BACKGROUND: While morbidity attributable to podoconiosis is relatively well studied, its pattern of mortality has not been established. METHODS: We compared the age-standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) of two datasets from northern Ethiopia: podoconiosis patients enrolled in a 1-y trial and a Health and Demographic Surveillance System cohort. RESULTS: The annual crude mortality rate per 1000 population for podoconiosis patients was 28.7 (95% confidence interval [CI] 17.3 to 44.8; n=663) while that of the general population was 2.8 (95% CI 2.3 to 3.4; n=44 095). The overall SMR for the study period was 6.0 (95% CI 3.6 to 9.4). CONCLUSIONS: Podoconiosis patients experience elevated mortality compared with the general population and further research is required to understand the reasons.