Gender differences in childhood lyme neuroborreliosis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background. Many neurological diseases show differences between genders. We studied gender differences in childhood Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) in an endemic area of Lyme borreliosis in Norway. Methods. In a population based study, all children (<14years of age) with symptoms suspicious of LNB, including all children with acute facial nerve palsy, were evaluated for LNB by medical history, clinical examination, blood tests, and lumbar puncture. LNB was diagnosed according to international criteria. Results. 142 children were diagnosed with LNB during 2001–2009. Facial nerve palsy wasmore common in girls (86%) than in boys (62%) (𝑝 < 0.001), but headache and/or neck stiffness as the only symptom was more common in boys (30%) than in girls (10%) (𝑝 = 0.003).The girls were younger than boys and had a shorter duration of symptoms, but boys had a higher level of pleocytosis than girls. In a multivariate analysis, both gender and having headache and neck stiffness were associated with a higher level of pleocytosis. Conclusion. Girls and boys have different clinical presentations of LNB, and boys have a higher level of inflammation than girls independent of the clinical presentation.