Funding sources EPIC U.K.
EPIDEMIOLOGY AND HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH
Epidemiology of scabies prevalence in the U.K. from general practice records
Article first published online: 17 MAY 2011
© 2011 The Authors. BJD © 2011 British Association of Dermatologists
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 164, Issue 6, pages 1329–1334, June 2011
How to Cite
Lassa, S., Campbell, M.J. and Bennett, C.E. (2011), Epidemiology of scabies prevalence in the U.K. from general practice records. British Journal of Dermatology, 164: 1329–1334. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10264.x
Conflicts of interest None declared.
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 17 MAY 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 24 FEB 2011 05:39PM EST
- Accepted for publication 14 February 2011
Background Scabies is a contagious parasitic infestation which causes an allergic reaction to just a few mites.
Objectives To examine the epidemiology of scabies consultations in the U.K. by age, sex, region of the country and time.
Methods Data were obtained from the THIN (The Health Information Network) database provided by EPIC U.K. in which each consultation episode is coded according to a ‘READ’ code. Data were available for 1997–2005 inclusive (9 years) for approximately 8·5% of the U.K. population from 12 regions of the U.K. We used harmonic analysis to model the data over time and derived cycle amplitudes and phases for each region in the U.K.
Results There was a significantly greater infestation rate among females with a relative risk of 1·24 (P < 0·001) relative to males. The age group 10–19 years had the highest infestation rates (with rates of 4·55 per 1000 and 5·92 per 1000 for males and females, respectively). The middle age groups had the smallest infestation rates. A cycle with length of between 15 and 17 years was derived, and the phase times of the cycles for each region suggested a progression of the disease originating from the North East, spreading to Northern parts of the U.K. and then to the Midlands and the South.
Conclusions The study confirms earlier studies with regard to the age/sex distribution of scabies. We suggest a contagious pattern of spread of scabies infestation in the U.K. with an epidemic cycle length of 15–17 years.