BREAKING! According To Insurance Claims, Lyme Disease Diagnoses In The United States Have Exponentially Increased To Over 357 Percent In Rural Locations!
According to a report by FAIR Health, an independent nonprofit that collects data for and manages the United States’s largest database of privately billed health insurance claims, Lyme disease
diagnoses in the United States have exponentially increased to over 357% in rural locations over the last 15 years!
In urban locations in the United States, the data showed that Lyme disease
diagnoses increased by over 65% for the same period.
These exponential increases of Lyme Disease
caseloads have elevated the issue to a problem of rising national concern.
is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If it is not treated early, the infection can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system.
Though most cases of Lyme disease
can be cured with a 2- to 4-week course of oral antibiotics, patients can sometimes have symptoms of pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that last for more than 6 months after they finish treatment. This condition is called “Post-Treatment Lyme Disease
that goes untreated for many months or years may be harder to treat with antibiotics. Untreated cases can progress to serious, even fatal health conditions, from arthritis and nerve pain to cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or Lyme neuroborreliosis (inflammation of the brain and spine).
It was reported that private insurance claim lines for Lyme disease
diagnosis increased 357 percent in rural regions and 65 percent in urban areas between 2007 and 2021.
The detailed 15-year analysis of Lyme disease
was conducted by the national, independent nonprofit using its database of over 36 billion privately billed healthcare claims; this research expands upon a previous FAIR Health infographic that looked at 10 years’ worth of Lyme disease
Importantly, the infographic reveals differences in the prevalence of Lyme disease
when comparing rural and urban locations. Between 2016 and 2021, the number of claim lines with Lyme disease
diagnoses climbed by 60% in rural regions and 19% in urban areas, with diagnoses peaking nationwide in June and July of each year. Rural locations showed a higher percentage of claim lines related to Lyme disease
diagnoses than urban areas throughout the summer months. However, from November through April, claim lines with Lyme disease
diagnoses were more common in urban than rural areas.
The report showed that in 2017, the states with the greatest proportion of claim lines with Lyme disease
diagnoses as a percentage of all diagnoses in the state, from highest to lowest, were New Jersey, Connecticut, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Given that Lyme disease
has been historically associated with the Northeast and upper Midwest, the status of North Carolina as the state with the third highest percentage of Lyme disease
claim lines in 2017 suggested marked expansion to a new region. By 2021, however, North Carolina had dropped from the list.
Interestingly, the top states in 2021, from highest to lowest, were New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Maine, which was not previously on the list of top five states for Lyme disease
claim lines, assumed third place in 2021, suggesting a growing presence of the tick-borne illness in the state.
The states of Connecticut and Vermont switched places, with Vermont emerging as number two and Connecticut dropping to number five.
Though Lyme disease
is treatable with antibiotics, some Lyme patients later develop conditions with long-term symptoms, such as fatigue, muscle and joint pain and cognitive issues. Such conditions have been linked to post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, sometimes called chronic Lyme disease
In order to identify later diagnoses associated with Lyme disease
, FAIR Health examined a statistically significant cohort of individuals in its private insurance claims database from 2017 to 2021, comparing the prevalence of certain diagnoses among Lyme patients to all patients in the cohort.
The detailed analysis found that diagnoses such as malaise and fatigue and soft-tissue-related issues were more common among Lyme patients than among the total patient population. Across all age groups, patients with Lyme disease
were generally more likely to have these apparently associated diagnoses than all patients in the cohort.
Robin Gelburd, FAIR Health President told media, “Lyme disease
remains a growing public health concern. FAIR Health will continue to use its repository of claims data to provide actionable and relevant insights to healthcare stakeholders seeking to better understand the ongoing rise of Lyme disease
For more on Lyme Disease
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News