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Patient characteristics, treatment patterns, and outcomes of Rickettsial diseases among a commercially insured population in the United States, 2005-2017.

Scientific Reports 2021 September 16
Rickettsial diseases (RDs) are transmitted to humans by ectoparasites, including ticks and fleas. Symptoms range from mild febrile illness, to severe disease or death. Doxycycline is the treatment of choice for patients of all ages; early treatment based on clinical diagnosis is critical to prevent severe outcomes. We conducted a descriptive analysis using insurance claims data captured by IBM MarketScan® research databases to describe demographics, treatment patterns, and outcomes of patients diagnosed with RDs in the United States during 2005-2017. Overall, 14,830 patients had a RD diagnosis during 2005-2017; 7,517 (50.7%) spotted fever rickettsiosis (SFR), 4,571 ( 30.8%) ehrlichiosis, 1,362 (9.2%) typhus group rickettsiosis (TGR), and 1,193 (8.0%) other rickettsial diseases. Among all patients diagnosed, 53.1% received doxycycline. Prescription rates varied by diagnosis and age; 24.1% of TGR and 61.1% of SFR patients received doxycycline; 23.9% of persons < 8 years received doxycycline, compared with 47.7% for 8-17 years, and 55.4% for ≥ 18 years. RDs are frequently diagnosed in the outpatient population; however, providers prescribed the recommended treatment to about half of patients. Continued education of treatment recommendations is critical to prevent severe outcomes.

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