Lyme Disease on the Rise in Some US Regions, Insurance Data Suggest

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The newly released data is the latest to show that Lyme disease in the US is on the rise. The study found that private insurance claims related to tickborne diseases have increased significantly since 2007, including most recently in the past five years. This modest increase was particularly striking in rural areas.

The study comes from FAIR Health, an independent non-profit organization that made in 2009 as part of an agreement between New York State and local insurers on fraudulent claims filed outside the Internet. Since then, in partnership with health researchers, FAIR has collected and regularly analyzed confidential private insurance data, which it says is the largest database of its kind in the US.

For the new report, researchers tracked claims that mentioned Lyme disease since 2007. Between 2007 and 2021, they found that claims from people living in cities and towns increased by 65%, and 357% from the public. in the countryside. This report is an update on a review conducted by FAIR in 2017, and Lyme disease has continued to grow since then. Between 2016 and 2021, claims increased by 19% in urban areas and 60% in rural areas. An accompanying infographic can be seen Here.

“Diseases are more common in urban areas because people are increasing in urban areas. However, our data shows that Lyme disease in rural areas is increasing rapidly,” Thomas Swift, che raised oto fall officer at FAIR Health, he told Gizmodo in an email.

The latest results are consistent other research showing that tick-borne Lyme disease is increasing over time. Based on their analysis of commercial insurance, for example, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers recently comparison that more than 450,000 Americans are now diagnosed and treated for Lyme each year—a 10-fold increase in the number of people diagnosed with the disease and twice the 300,000 annual cases previously estimated by the CDC.

FAIR’s findings also show that people outside areas where Lyme is known to be endemic are exposed to ticks that carry the disease more frequently, possibly every few years. In 2017, for example, claims from North Carolina skyrocketed, with the state having the third-highest number of Lyme-related cases against all diseases diagnosed that year. By 2021, North Carolina was no longer in the top five, but Maine made it to third on the list — the last state to ever be at the top. five. In 2017 and 2021, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont were the four states with the highest share of Lyme-related illnesses.

Lyme disease is caused by other factors Borrelia bacteria (usually B. burgdorferi), and can often be easily treated with antibiotics, especially if caught early. But a small number of people say that they have symptoms of the disease after the disease, which is known as after treatment for Lyme disease. There is there is no strong evidence that these symptoms are caused by persistent infection from the bacteria – a theory promoted by people who follow “chronic Lyme” – but can be linked to the failure of the immune system after infection. People who are not diagnosed and treated early can also have serious problems that can persist even after treatment, such as nerve pain and muscle weakness.

Interestingly, FAIR’s findings suggest an increased risk of long-term disease among Lyme patients. Using their data, they compared the results of Lyme patients with the general population and found that they were more likely to be diagnosed with fatigue, weakness, and other health problems, which are seen in all age groups.

There are ongoing efforts to develop an effective Lyme vaccine. But with climate change continuing inexorably, experts wait that Lyme is another tick-related diseaseThis will represent the thorn that is still growing in our side—that of doctors researchers will have to keep an eye on it.

“The current epidemic has focused a lot of medical attention on covid-19, but other diseases remain health issues that need to be recognized. FAIR Health data shows that Lyme disease has not gone away but continues to grow,” said Swift.