The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Braz J Infect Dis 2017;21:133-9 - Vol. 21 Num.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.bjid.2016.11.008
Original article
Factors associated with pain in individuals infected by human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)
Dislene N. dos Santosa,b,c, Kionna O.B. Santosb, Alaí B. Paixãob, Rosana Cristina P. de Andradec, Davi T. Costac,d, Daniel L. S-Martinb,e, Katia N. Sáb,f, Abrahão F. Baptistaa,b,f,,
a Universidade Federal da Bahia, Programa de Pós-graduação em Medicina e Saúde, Salvador, BA, Brazil
b Universidade Federal da Bahia, Laboratório de Eletroestimulação Funcional, Salvador, BA, Brazil
c Universidade Federal da Bahia, Hospital Professor Edgard Santos, Serviço de Imunologia, Salvador, BA, Brazil
d Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia, Vitoria da Conquista, BA, Brazil
e Universidade Federal da Bahia, Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brazil
f Escola Bahiana de Medicina e Saúde Pública, Pós graduação e pesquisa, Salvador, BA, Brazil
Received 05 May 2016, Accepted 22 November 2016

Despite the high prevalence of chronic pain in individuals infected with HTLV-1, predictive and protective factors for its development are still unclear.


To identify factors associated with chronic pain in individuals with HTLV-1.


This cross-sectional study was conducted in a reference center for treatment of patients infected with HTLV-1 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The study included individuals infected with HTLV-1, over 18 years, and excluded those with difficulty to respond the pain protocol. Data on sociodemographic, health behavior, and clinical characteristics were collected in a standardized way. The prevalence ratio (PR) of pain is described, as well as the factors independently associated with the presence of pain, which were assessed by multiple logistic regression.


A total of 142 individuals were included in the study, mostly female (62.7%), aged 20–64 years (73.2%), married (61.3%), with less than eight years of education (54.2%), and with a steady income (79.6%). Multivariate analysis showed that being symptomatic for HTLV-1 – sensory manifestations, erectile dysfunction, overactive bladder, and/or HAM/TSP (PR=1.21, 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.38), self-medication (PR=1.29, 95% CI: 1.08–1.53), physiotherapy (PR=1.15, 95% CI: 1.02–1.28), and depression (PR=1.14, 95% CI: 1.01–1.29) were associated with an increased likelihood of presenting pain. On the other hand, physical activity (PR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.67–0.93) and religious practice (PR=0.83, 95% CI: 0.72–0.95) were associated with a decreased likelihood of having pain.


The use of self-medication, physiotherapy and the presence of depression are independently associated with neurological symptoms in HTLV-1 infected patients. Religious practice and physical activity are both protective for the development of pain.

Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1), Tropical spastic paraparesis, Retroviridae infections, Chronic pain
Braz J Infect Dis 2017;21:133-9 - Vol. 21 Num.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.bjid.2016.11.008