Epidemiology & Health Burden of Lyme and Babesiosis Hospitalizations in US

Evan M. Bloch, et al., published “Comparing the Epidemiology and Health Burden of Lyme Disease and Babesiosis Hospitalizations in the United States” in the November 2022 issue of Open Forum Infectious Diseases which provides the results of a study that examined a nationally representative sample of patient hospitalizations.

The researchers obtained Lyme disease and babesiosis case data from the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) for the years 2018 and 2019 and analyzed patient demographics, clinical outcomes, admission costs, as well as hospital-level variables such as location/teaching status and census division. US Census Bureau data was used to calculate the annual incidence of hospitalizations. [LINK TO FULL JOURNAL ARTICLE HERE]

The annual incidence of Lyme and babesiosis-related hospitalizations were found to be 6.98 and 2.03 per 1,000,000 persons/year. Of the 4,585 hospitalizations due to Lyme, 60.9% were among male patients, of which 85.3% were White, and 39.0% were ≥60 years. Of the 1,330 babesiosis hospitalizations, 72.2% were among male patients, of which 78.9% were White, and 74.1% were ≥60 years. A large majority of hospitalizations for both diseases took place in the Middle Atlantic or New England regions. Overall, Lyme showed lower levels of disease severity compared to babesiosis cases, although those who suffered high levels of disease severity were 2.3% and 6.0%, correspondingly. The average hospital costs for Lyme were $33,440.80 and $40,689.80 for babesiosis.

The study shows that, regardless of commonalities between the two diseases, Lyme has a broader geographical range as well as a greater quantity of hospital admissions, while babesiosis is more severe, causing lengthier hospital stays with higher inpatient costs as well as fatalities.


1.) Evan M Bloch, Xianming Zhu, Peter J Krause, Eshan U Patel, M Kate Grabowski, Ruchika Goel, Paul G Auwaerter, Aaron A R Tobian, Comparing the Epidemiology and Health Burden of Lyme Disease and Babesiosis Hospitalizations in the United States, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Volume 9, Issue 11, November 2022, ofac597,

For more information:

Read the study in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

Read more about babesiosis.

Read more about Lyme disease.