Special Report

12 Worst States for Lyme Disease

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7. New Jersey
> Incidence of Lyme disease: 40 per 100,000 residents
> Confirmed cases: 3,629 (2nd highest)
> Uninsured rate: 7.7% (24th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically active: 76.4% (17th lowest)

New Jersey’s location in the mid-Atlantic region is a hot spot for disease carrying ticks. There were 3,629 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the Garden State in 2017, the second most in the country after only Pennsylvania. The state’s Lyme disease incidence rate of 40 incidents per 100,000 is seventh highest among states and more than quadruple the 9.1 per 100,000 national rate. Another 1,463 probable but unconfirmed cases of Lyme in the state in 2017 were not factored into the rate.

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6. Delaware
> Incidence of Lyme disease: 44 per 100,000 residents
> Confirmed cases: 421 (14th highest)
> Uninsured rate: 5.4% (10th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically active: 74.6% (9th lowest)

Delaware’s incidence of confirmed Lyme disease cases increased slightly in 2017, from 41 cases per 100,000 residents in 2016 to 44 cases per 100,000 residents. The increase may have been the result of Delaware’s campaign to raise public awareness of the disease. If previously some people who contracted the disease were unaware and never diagnosed, many more are now better informed of the symptoms and more are likely correctly diagnosed.

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5. Rhode Island
> Incidence of Lyme disease: 56 per 100,000 residents
> Confirmed cases: 595 (12th highest)
> Uninsured rate: 4.6% (5th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically active: 76.6% (19th lowest)

With 56 confirmed cases for every 100,000 people in 2017, Lyme disease is more common in Rhode Island than in neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts. Partially because Lyme disease is such a concern in the state and the region, Rhode Island is home to a number of facilities that specialize in diagnosing and treating the disease, including Lyme Center of New England and the Lifespan Lyme Disease Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence.

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4. New Hampshire
> Incidence of Lyme disease: 71 per 100,000 residents
> Confirmed cases: 956 (10th highest)
> Uninsured rate: 5.8% (14th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically active: 80.0% (17th highest)

There were 956 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in New Hampshire in 2017, up considerably from the 691 in 2016 and more than double the 436 cases in 2015. All told, there were 71 incidents for every 100,000 people in the state in 2017, the third highest rate in the New England region and fourth highest nationwide.

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3. Pennsylvania
> Incidence of Lyme disease: 72 per 100,000 residents
> Confirmed cases: 9,250 (the highest)
> Uninsured rate: 5.5% (12th lowest)
> Pct. adults physically active: 77.6% (24th lowest)

Pennsylvania had 9,250 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in 2017, by far the most of any state and higher than the next three highest states combined. Pennsylvania accounts for more than one-third of total confirmed Lyme disease cases in the United States. Due to the state’s relatively large population, however, it ranks behind two other states in incidence rate of the disease, at 72 cases per 100,000 residents in 2017.

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