Pakistan faces critical challenges pertaining to cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), where it's distribution is more or less patchy. The goal of this study was to assess the incidence of CL as well as to identify potential risk factors in Peshawar region, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The study was conducted in the dermatology outpatient unit at Kuwait Teaching Hospital, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Longitudinal out-patient department visit data for 9,631 CL patients spanning a 42-mo (April 2011–October 2014) period was analyzed using autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) time series models ARIMA(1,0,0)(0,1,0)12 and ARIMA(0,0,0)(0,1,0)12. The ARIMA concluded that the number of patients was increasing over time. Over the duration, frequency of male patients (58.2%) was higher. The mean age of CL patients was 16.4 (confidence interval = 16.14–16.70) yr and the majority of the patients were aged 5–20 yr (52.6%). Inflow of CL patients peaked close to February and March, followed by a decline until its lowest point in the months of August and September (P < 0.001). Two hundred individuals, including 88 cases and 112 controls, were matched by gender and age categories (<5, 5–20, >20 yr) to derive 63 matched pairs. Using univariate conditional logistic regression analyses of the matched pairs, we found that living in congested rooms (>6 persons), having family members with lesions (active/scars), keeping cattle inside dwellings at night, and having in-door vegetation were established as factors that significantly increased the risk of CL. On the other hand, living in houses constructed with bricked walls or wooden roofs (thatched/beam), ownership of treated bed nets, and having meshed windows were proven to be protective against CL. It was evident that the disease incidence has been on a gradual rise over the past few years. It was concluded that household clustering, house construction, and conventional behavioral practices (living with cattle) greatly impact the epidemiology of CL in the region. Conclusions from this study have significant implications for prospective control programs.
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