ABSTRACT: Objective In order to illustrate the important public health impact of syphilis, which is a preventable infection, the epidemiology of syphilis-related hospitalisations in Spain was studied over a 10-year period. Methods A retrospective study was conducted using the National Epidemiological Surveillance System for Hospital Data (Minimum Data Set). All hospitalisations due to syphilis infection in any diagnostic position (ICD-9-CM 090-097) between 1997 and 2006 were analysed, according to the Spanish version of the International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision (ICD-9-CM). Results There were 9556 hospitalisations associated with syphilis in Spain. The hospitalisation rate was 2.33 per 100 000 population, the mortality rate was 0.07 per 100 000 population and the lethality was 3.17%. The hospitalisation rate increased significantly after 2000 and was higher in men. Conclusion Syphilis remains a major public health problem because of both potential complications and its close association with HIV infection. It is necessary to promote early diagnosis, ensure treatment in patients with syphilis and emphasise health promotion and prevention programmes.
BMJ open. 01/2011; 1(2):e000270.