Study suggests older women are most at risk of contracting Lyme Disease

A study has suggested that older women are most at risk of Lyme Disease, with parts of southern and south-west England as ‘hotspots’.

In a BMC Public Health study, over 2,000 hospital patients who had the disease between 1998 and 2015 were analysed - and it was found that 60% were female.

The BBC reports that of the patients studied, cases appeared to peak between the ages of 61 and 65.And it was found that many of the people who contracted the disease (1,877) were white, also.

Lyme Disease

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So while there isn't an overwhelming amount of evidence to suggest that older women are more at risk of Lyme Disease, the study certainly appears to suggest that they are more likely to get it.

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection carried by ticks and there are 3,000 cases of the disease each year in the UK alone. It cannot be passed on from person to person, and the majority of those who take a three-week course of antibiotics make a full recovery.

However, a few people have symptoms that last for years, and it’s unclear as to why this happens in certain patients.

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Lyme disease symptoms:

Experts now want everyone to become aware of the ‘bullseye’ rash and flu-like symptoms that come with the disease.

But while that is one of the earliest symptoms, the NHS highlights that not everyone gets the rash. Some people infected can get more flu-like symptoms early on, such as headaches, a high temperature, muscle pain and tiredness.

But if you do spot the rash and/or have any of the other symptoms, it's important to seek medical advice immediately.

Lyme Disease

(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It's also important to, if you spot a tick, remove it from the skin as soon as possible, with a pair of tweezers.

Where does Lyme disease happen?

Recent reports have also claimed that the highest incidence of the disease is in south-west England, due to the grassy and wooded areas where ticks commonly reside. Purbeck, Dorset topped the list of ‘hotspots’ with 3.13 cases per 100,000 annually.

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As for Scotland, there’s an estimated 200 cases of the infection each year, with the Scottish Highlands being known as a ‘hotspot’ due to long grass.