Tickborne Disease Metadata: Lyme Disease Prevalence


Lyme disease prevalence data are from the Maine Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

Dates Available:

2011 - 2016

Geographic Resolution:

State, Public Health District, County


In collaboration with the Maine CDC’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology program, the Maine EPHT program has received BRFSS survey data on Lyme disease prevalence since 2011.  Lyme disease prevalence among Maine adults are analyzed, stratified by geographic resolution.

The dataset contains the following measure: percent (prevalence) of Maine adults that have ever been told, by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that they have Lyme disease.


This data set supports efforts to improve public health in Maine and contributes to the U.S. CDC’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Network. A key activity of participants in this network is to track and make available environmental health measures on state and national data portals. Measures derived from the data set described here can be used to compare Lyme prevalence across the state, and in relation to risk factors, exposures, and health outcomes.

The Maine Tracking Network, a member of the National EPHT Network, connects communities, public health professionals, policy makers, state agencies, and others to the data they need to monitor public health, respond to health concerns, prioritize resources for public health action, and evaluate prevention activities. Maine tracks certain health effects, exposures, and environmental hazards that have known relationships, as well as some health effects and environmental hazards that have suspected relationships. By making health and environmental data available through the Maine Tracking Network, more people have access to data they need to think critically and hypothesize about health outcomes and their relationships to conditions in the environment.

Supplemental Information:

Lyme disease is a nationally notifiable condition in the U.S., though the disease is believed to be underreported. This prevalence measure enables comparisons between the case-based surveillance system (incidence) and the reported burden (prevalence) of Lyme disease.

The BRFSS collects state specific data on health issues via a telephone survey.  Over 8,000 non-institutionalized adults in Maine, 18 years of age or older, participate in the survey each year.  Survey participants were asked, “Have you ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that you have Lyme disease?”

Statistical weighting is an analytical technique used to account for survey non-response, in addition to known distributions of age, race and ethnicity, gender geographic region, and other characteristics of populations. Lyme disease prevalence measures (estimated percents) were calculated using statistical weights in order to be representative of the general adult population in Maine.

Entity and Attribute Overview:

The dataset includes the following fields: year (or year range), geographic resolution, percent and 95% confidence intervals.

Data Limitations:

  • Maine adults who are institutionalized, do not have a phone, or cannot communicate over the phone are not interviewed by the survey.
  • Data are based on self-report, and individuals may or may not be able to accurately report that they have been diagnosed with Lyme disease.
  • Individuals with limited access to health care may be less likely to be diagnosed with Lyme disease by a health care professional.
  • While data are statistically weighted to be more representative of the general adult population of Maine and to adjust for non-response, statistical weighting methods are not always perfect in accomplishing this.

Access Constraints:

Publicly available data are suppressed in accordance with the Maine CDC Privacy Policy to protect confidentiality.

More Information:

  • To find more general information on this topic, see the tickborne disease page of the Maine Tracking Network messaging portal.
  • To find more detailed information about the measures, see the tabs labeled ‘Intro’ and ‘About the Data’ within the tickborne diseases content area of the Maine Tracking Network Data Portal. (Note that clicking this link will open a new session in the Data Portal.)
  • To find more detailed information about the data source, see the BRFSS metadata.
  • For specific definitions of terms and concepts see the Glossary.
  • For more information on BRFSS, see the BRFSS website.
  • To view data for other states and cities, visit the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Data Portal.

Suggested Citation for Data Displays:

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Tracking Network. Tickborne Disease: Lyme Disease Prevalence.  Available online: https://data.mainepublichealth.gov/tracking/. Accessed on [date accessed].