Startling – Lyme Disease Diagnoses Have Skyrocketed 357% in Rural Areas

Lyme Disease Infected Tick

Lyme illness is the most typical tick-borne an infection in the US.

Diagnoses elevated 65% in city areas.

During the last 15 years, Lyme illness has seen a noticeable enhance in the US, and as a consequence, it has elevated to an issue of rising nationwide concern. Non-public insurance coverage declare traces for Lyme illness prognosis elevated 357 p.c in rural areas and 65 p.c in city areas between 2007 and 2021. These and different discoveries on this bacterial sickness unfold by ticks are proven in an infographic not too long ago revealed by FAIR Well being.

The 15-year evaluation of Lyme illness was carried out by the nationwide, impartial nonprofit utilizing its database of over 36 billion privately billed healthcare claims; this analysis expands upon a earlier FAIR Well being infographic that checked out 10 years’ price of Lyme illness knowledge.

Lyme Disease Infographic

Non-public insurance coverage declare traces with a Lyme illness prognosis in the US. Credit score:

The distinction between city and rural areas

The infographic reveals necessary variations within the prevalence of Lyme illness when evaluating rural and concrete areas. Between 2016 and 2021, the variety of declare traces with Lyme illness diagnoses climbed by 60% in rural areas and 19% in city areas, with diagnoses peaking nationwide in June and July of every yr. Rural areas confirmed the next share of declare traces associated to Lyme illness diagnoses than city areas all through the summer season months. Nonetheless, from November via April, declare traces with Lyme illness diagnoses have been extra widespread in city than rural areas.

Geographic Distribution

In 2017, the states with the best proportion of declare traces with Lyme illness diagnoses as a share of all diagnoses within the state, from highest to lowest, have been New Jersey, Connecticut, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Provided that Lyme illness has been traditionally related to the Northeast and higher Midwest, the standing of North Carolina because the state with the third highest share of Lyme illness declare traces in 2017 prompt marked enlargement to a brand new area. By 2021, nonetheless, North Carolina had dropped from the record.

The highest states in 2021, from highest to lowest, have been New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Maine, which was not beforehand on the record of prime 5 states for Lyme illness declare traces, assumed third place in 2021, suggesting a rising presence of the tick-borne sickness within the state. Connecticut and Vermont switched locations, with Vermont rising as quantity two and Connecticut dropping to quantity 5.

Later Diagnoses

Though Lyme illness is treatable with antibiotics, some Lyme sufferers later develop situations with long-term signs, akin to fatigue, muscle and joint ache and cognitive points. Such situations have been linked to post-treatment Lyme illness syndrome, generally known as continual Lyme illness.

To determine later diagnoses related to Lyme illness, FAIR Well being examined a statistically important cohort of people in its non-public insurance coverage claims database from 2017 to 2021, evaluating the prevalence of sure diagnoses amongst Lyme sufferers to all sufferers within the cohort. The evaluation discovered that diagnoses akin to malaise and fatigue and soft-tissue-related points have been extra widespread amongst Lyme sufferers than among the many complete affected person inhabitants. Throughout all age teams, sufferers with Lyme illness have been usually extra prone to have these apparently related diagnoses than all sufferers within the cohort.

FAIR Well being President Robin Gelburd said, “Lyme illness stays a rising public well being concern. FAIR Well being will proceed to make use of its repository of claims knowledge to offer actionable and related insights to healthcare stakeholders searching for to higher perceive the continuing rise of Lyme illness instances.”

That is the third research FAIR Well being has carried out on Lyme illness, the primary showing in an infographic launched in 2017 and the second in a white paper revealed in 2019. 

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