Estimation of prevalence of chronic Chagas disease in Brazilian municipalities

Laporta et al.


The objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of chronic Chagas disease (CCD) in Brazil: in the general population, in women, and in women of childbearing age.


A meta-analysis of the literature was conducted to extract data on the prevalence of CCD in municipalities in Brazil in the 2010–2022 period: in the general population, in women, and in women of childbearing age. Municipal-level CCD indicators available in health information systems were selected. Statistical modeling of the data extracted from the meta-analysis (based on data obtained from information systems) was applied to linear, generalized linear, and additive models. 


The five most appropriate models were selected from a total of 549 models tested to obtain a consensus model (adjusted R2 = 54%). The most important predictor was self-reported CCD in the primary health care information system. Zero prevalence was estimated in 1 792 (32%) of Brazil’s 5 570 municipalities; in the remaining 3 778 municipalities, average prevalence of the disease was estimated at 3.25% (± 2.9%). The number of carriers of CCD was estimated for the Brazilian population (~3.7 million), for women (~2.1 million) and for women of childbearing age (~590 000). The disease reproduction rate was calculated at 1.0336. All estimates refer to the 2015–2016 period. 


The estimated prevalence of CCD, especially among women of childbearing age, highlights the challenge of vertical transmission in Brazilian municipalities. Mathematical projections suggest that these estimates should be included in the national program for the elimination of vertical transmission of Chagas disease.

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