Background: The Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre comprises more than 150 general practices, with a combined population of more than 1.5 million, contributing to UK and European public health surveillance and research. Objective: The aim of this paper was to report gender differences in the presentation of infectious and respiratory conditions in children and young adults. Methods: Disease incidence data were used to test the hypothesis that boys up to puberty present more with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) and asthma. Incidence rates were reported for infectious conditions in children and young adults by gender. We controlled for ethnicity, deprivation, and consultation rates. We report odds ratios (OR) with 95% CI, P values, and probability of presenting. Results: Boys presented more with LRTI, largely due to acute bronchitis. The OR of males consulting was greater across the youngest 3 age bands (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.35-1.87; OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.05-1.21; OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.09-1.32). Allergic rhinitis and asthma had a higher OR of presenting in boys aged 5 to 14 years (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.37-1.68; OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.17-1.48). Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and urinary tract infection (UTI) had lower odds of presenting in boys, especially those older than 15 years. The probability of presenting showed different patterns for LRTI, URTI, and atopic conditions. Conclusions: Boys younger than 15 years have greater odds of presenting with LRTI and atopic conditions, whereas girls may present more with URTI and UTI. These differences may provide insights into disease mechanisms and for health service planning.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Simon de Lusignan, Ana Correa, Richard Pebody, Ivelina Yonova, Gillian Smith, Rachel Byford, Sameera Rankiri Pathirannehelage, Christopher McGee, Alex J. Elliot, Mariya Hriskova, Filipa IM Ferreira, Imran Rafi, Simon Jones.
- Common cold
- General practice
- Medical record system
- Population surveillance
- Urinary tract infections