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PLoS One. 2013 May 30;8(5):e64110. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064110. Print 2013.

Gender disparity between cutaneous and non-cutaneous manifestations of Lyme borreliosis.

Author information

1
Department of Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Abstract

Cutaneous manifestations of Lyme borreliosis in Europe include erythema migrans (EM) and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA); the most common non-cutaneous manifestations are Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) and Lyme arthritis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the gender distribution of patients with these clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis. Data on gender were obtained from the clinical records of patients with Lyme borreliosis aged ≥15 years who had been evaluated at the University Medical Center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Among 10,539 patients diagnosed with EM, 6,245 (59.3%) were female and among 506 ACA patients 347 (68.6%) were female. In contrast, among the 60 patients with Lyme arthritis only 15 (25%) were female (p<0.0001 for the comparison of gender with EM or ACA) and among the 130 patients with LNB only 51 (39.2%) were females (p<0.0001for the comparison of gender with EM or ACA). Although the proportion that was female in the LNB group was greater than that of patients with Lyme arthritis, this difference did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.10). Although older individuals are more likely to be female in the general Slovenian population, the age of patients with cutaneous versus non-cutaneous manifestations was not the explanation for the observed differences in gender. In conclusion, patients with cutaneous manifestations of Lyme borreliosis were predominantly female, whereas those with non-cutaneous manifestations were predominantly male. This provocative finding is unexplained but may have direct relevance to the pathogenesis of Lyme borreliosis.

PMID:
23737968
PMCID:
PMC3667797
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0064110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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