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Maja Sočan, Mateja Blaško-Markič, Vanja Erčulj and Jaroslav Lajovic


Background. Lyme borreliosis disease results from infection by members of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. The most common clinical presentation of Lyme borreliosis is erythema migrans (EM). To gain knowledge of the epidemiological parameters and the risk factors of EM in Slovenia, a survey has been carried out in 2010.

Methods. A short anonymous and self-administrated questionnaire was sent to 4917 notified EM patients in 2010, aiming to collect epidemiological data and assess socio-economic determinants in patients with EM.

Results. Three thousand and five (61%) patients with EM returned completed questionnaires. One thousand and nine hundred twenty-nine (74%) patients noted the tick where the EM developed. The tick bite was most often located on the legs in adults and in the head/neck area in children. The time that elapsed before the tick has been removed increased significantly with age. The attached tick was most frequently overlooked in preschool children. Nearly 70% of patients believed that they contracted the infection with borrelia near home. Infection away from their permanent residence was more often the case in those with a higher level of education and in 15-49 age groups. Compared to the Slovenian general population over 14 years of age, those with a higher level of education, the unemployed and farmers were overrepresented among the EM patients.

Conclusions. The risk of Lyme borreliosis is widespread in Slovenia, with some areas more affected then others. Determinants of exposure to infected ticks are different, and depend on the socio-economic status and demographic characteristics.

Open access

Valentina Hlebec, Andrej Srakar and Boris Majcen



Population ageing has significant effects on societies. The organization of care for dependent old people is one of the key issues for ageing societies. The majority of care for homebound dependent old people in Slovenia is still performed by informal carers, even though the use of formal services has been increasing over the last 20 years. The proportion and characteristics of people with unmet needs are important for the development of long term care social policy.


The SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) survey was used to assess the determinants of care arrangements and of unmet needs of the aging population in Slovenia. Multinomial regression analysis was used to evaluate individual and contextual determinants of care arrangements and unmet needs.


The proportion of older people with unmet needs is 4%. As expected, “needs” (Functional impairment OR=4.89, P=0.000, Depression OR=2.59, P=0.001) were the most important determinant, followed by the predisposing factor “age” (age OR 1.15, P=0.000) and two enabling factors, namely:“community setting and “availability of informal care within household” (Urban areas OR=.47, P=0.021; Household size 3+ OR=2.11, P=0.030).


This study showed that there are a proportion of older people in Slovenia with severe needs for care, which are being unmet. As shown by the importance of enabling factors, social policy should encourage the development of formal services in rural areas and elaborate policy measures for informal carers.