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Research points to delayed diagnosis for Black patients with Lyme disease

Increased awareness is an important first step in addressing this problem.

A white doctor checks the pulse of a Black patient.

This recent study from Johns Hopkins University reveals that Black patients in their clinic and research studies received a diagnosis for Lyme disease when they are at a later stage of the disease than white patients. In addition Black patients were less likely than white patients to present with a rash, an important early diagnostic sign of Lyme disease. The study found that over half (52.1%) of white patients presented only with a rash, compared to only 18.6% of Black patients.

This research highlights the need for increased awareness and education for the public and for healthcare providers, including the differences in rash appearance on darker skin. 


Starke SJ, Rebman AW, Miller J, Yang T, Aucott JN. Time to Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease by Patient Race. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(12):e2347184. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.47184

Read the press release

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