Arthropod Bites and Stings Treated in Emergency Departments: Recent Trends and Correlates

Michael G. Vaughn, Katherine J. Holzer, Jason T. Carbone, Christopher P. Salas-Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite increasing health effects of arthropod bites and associated costs, research on their frequency is limited, especially at the population level. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence, correlates, and recent trends in visits to US emergency departments related to arthropod bites and stings. Methods: The prevalence of arthropod bites, including information regarding location of the bite, was calculated for years 2010 through 2014 using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. Sex- and age-stratified multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted with “arthropod bite” as the dependent variable and patient and hospital characteristics as independent variables. Results: Overall, there were significant increases in bites over the study period with higher rates of bites in the summer months (June–August), especially among children. Individuals who seek treatment for arthropod bites in the emergency department are more likely to reside in zip codes with lower median household income and to be without insurance coverage or with Medicaid rather than private insurance. The cost of care related to arthropod bites increased approximately 40% over the study period. Conclusions: These results provide updated surveillance on the prevalence and correlates of arthropod bites and stings in the US population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-400
Number of pages7
JournalWilderness and Environmental Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • cost
  • epidemiology
  • insect
  • scorpion
  • spider
  • surveillance


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