To assess the prevalence of infections in non-hospitalized Belgian inmates a cross-sectional study was set up with a proportional random sample of 893 subjects (14% of all inmates) from 13 penitentiaries.
Information on the type of infection, the duration of imprisonment and other relevant variables was collected from medical records.
Severe infections among hospitalized inmates were not included in this survey.
Of the inmates 12,1% was reported to have at least one infection (95% CL : 10.0-14.2).
The most common infections were those of the lower respiratory tract (prevalence : 3.1%), infectious skin disorders (2.9%) and sexually transmitted diseases (2.2%). Among the latter HIV seroprevalence was the most common (0.84% among males and 1.68% among females).
Clinically apparent viral hepatitis was reported in 1.6%. The infection rate was found to be associated with age, the type of punishment, the type of prison and the use of antibacterial drugs.
An age-standardized comparison with Belgian psychatric institutions showed significantly higher prevalences for genital infections and viral hepatitis in penitantiaries.
However, our results can only be regarded as exploratory because of the potential role of tascertainment bias.
Finally the possible impmlications for the protection of the prison presonnel against infectious occupational hazards are discussed.
Mots-clés Pascal : Infection, Epidémiologie, Prévalence, Milieu carcéral, Belgique, Europe, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Infection, Epidemiology, Prevalence, Carceral environment, Belgium, Europe, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0245102
Code Inist : 002B05A02. Création : 11/09/1998.