Epidemiology of oral Kaposi’s sarcoma in Zimbabwe 1988-1997: a population-based study
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Objective: Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of Hiy/AIDS cases globally which contrasts with the lack of population-based studies of oral Kaposi's sarcoma (OKS); one of the clinical cardinal signs of HIV/AIDS. To date, no study has investigated the incidence of OKS in African populations affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is, therefore, the purpose of this study to assess the burden of OKS in the Zimbabwean population over a 10 year period. Design: A descriptive epidemiological study was undertaken to assess the burden of OKS by determining the frequencies, incidence and cumulative rates, the lifetime risk and chances of developing OKS according to site (topography), gender, age, race/ethnic origin of the Zimbabwean population. A total of 445 incident cases of OKS from the upper and lower lips, oral vestibule, retromolar area, floor of mouth, tongue, cheek, mucosa, gums, hard and soft palate were accessed from the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry (ZNCR). Cases from the skin, pharynx, larynx and the major salivary glands were excluded from the study. Setting: This comprised the population of Zimbabwe during the 10 year period 1988-1997. The population figures used for this study were fro the 1992 Census Zimbabwe National Report. The study population was standardized by the direct method against the world standard population to calculate the age standardized incidence rate (ASIR). The SPSS statistical software programme (SPSS Inc. 2001, USA) was used for the statistical analysis.