We investigated the epidemiology of Lyme borreliosis (LB) in Finland for the period 1995-2014 by using data from 3 different healthcare registers. We reviewed data on disseminated LB cases from the National Infectious Diseases Register (21,051 cases) and the National Hospital Discharge Register (10,402 cases) and data on primary LB (erythema migrans) cases from the Register for Primary Health Care Visits (11,793 cases). Incidence of microbiologically confirmed disseminated LB cases increased from 7/100,000 population in 1995 to 31/100,000 in 2014. Incidence of primary LB cases increased from 44/100,000 in 2011 to 61/100,000 in 2014. Overall, cases occurred predominantly in women, and we observed a bimodal age distribution in all 3 registers. Our results clearly demonstrate that the geographic distribution of LB has expanded in Finland and underscore the importance of LB as an increasing public health concern in Finland and in northern Europe in general.
Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi; Finland; Ixodes; Lyme borreliosis; bacteria; epidemiology; erythema migrans; register-based study; tick-borne; ticks; vector-borne infections.