Thursday, 5 June 2014

Part 2: The Battle for Chronic Lyme Disease

In Part 1, Lorraine Johnson, JD MBA, Chief Executive Officer at and Dr. Raphael Stricker, Director at the International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) describe the findings of their peer-reviewed article, Severity of chronic Lyme disease compared to other chronic conditions: a quality of life survey 

In Part 2 of this social media series, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health delves deeper into the report’s key findings and we ask these thought-leaders if those with chronic Lyme disease have pets or were exposed through pet contact.

1. What were the key findings from the study?  
There were a number of key findings. When we looked at how patients reported their quality of life compared with other diseases, we found that those with chronic Lyme disease reported a poorer quality of life than patients with most other diseases including congestive heart failure, diabetes, asthma and MS. Fair or poor health was reported by 73% of patients with chronic Lyme disease. In comparison, only 16% of those in the general population report fair or poor health. 

The survey also shows that patients with chronic Lyme disease have high disability and unemployment rates. Over 40% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported that they currently are unable to work because of Lyme disease and 24% of patients report that they have received disability at some point in their illness. This compares with 6% of the U.S. population who are unable to work due to illness. They also have high healthcare utilization rates. For example, compared to the normal population, they are 5X more likely to visit healthcare providers and 2X as likely to be seen in emergency rooms. 

2. What do the key findings mean? 
All of this means that patients with chronic Lyme disease suffer from an impaired quality of life and financial hardships that arise from high disability and unemployment rates as well as increased medical costs. These costs place of burden on the patient, their families and ultimately society in the form of lost productivity, disability and unemployment. 

3. What should people do with the information? 
The importance of prevention and early detection and treatment cannot be over-emphasized. Patients who remain ill after a short course of therapy need to know that there are other treatment options, including continued antibiotics, that may improve their quality of life. We need to launch a "Manhattan Project" for Lyme disease to determine the best course of treatment for chronic Lyme patients to improve their quality of life. People need to be aware of their risk.

4. Has any research been conducted on if those with chronic Lyme disease have pets or were exposed through pet contact?  
So far, we have not conducted the study through the lens of pet owner and for pet ownership. Given the success of this recent study, and its large sample size, we hope to be able to look at the issue through the lens of pet owner also.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.