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A statewide cross-sectional study of risk factors for seropositivity for antibody to Borrelia burgdorferi in outdoor workers in New Jersey was performed in September and October 1988. The crude odds ratio associated with exposure to ticks on the primary state job was 2.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.7-9.0). After adjustment for multiple confounding variables with logistic regression, the adjusted occupational tick exposure odds ratio was 5.1 (95% CI 1.1-23.6). Additional analyses revealed that any use of insect repellent or antibiotics may have decreased the risk of
Lyme disease in these workers (adjusted odds ratios for not using insect repellent or antibiotics were 2.0 (95% CI 1.0-4.0) and 2.3 (95% CI 0.8-6.7), respectively). These data suggest that
Lyme disease is a hazard of outdoor work and that increased recognition of this fact will be necessary to prevent
Lyme disease in these workers.