Women at Greater Risk of Severe Illness

Analysis of the study data revealed several important insights. Women reported a higher prevalence of tick-borne co-infections, more severe symptoms, longer diagnostic delays, increased misdiagnoses, and greater functional impairment compared to men. However, no significant differences were observed in antibiotic treatment response or side effects. The majority of both men and women who were treated with antibiotics reported improvement.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a corkscrew-shaped bacteria known as a spirochete. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 476,000 people are diagnosed with the illness each year in the United States (2 Trusted Source
How many people get Lyme disease?

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). That makes new cases of Lyme disease more common than breast cancer, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined in this country.


According to CEO Lorraine Johnson, lead author of the study, “We need to find out why more women than men develop persistent Lyme disease. But we must also determine whether biological variables play a role as they do in other infectious diseases.”

“Science has ignored gender-based differences in research for far too long,” said Dr. Raphael Stricker, the study’s senior author. “Our findings underscore the need for greater consideration of gender-specific factors in Lyme disease research in order to improve outcomes for all patients.”

References :

  1. Does Biological Sex Matter in Lyme Disease? The Need for Sex-Disaggregated Data in Persistent Illness – (

  2. How many people get Lyme disease? – (

Source: Eurekalert

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