Shingles boosts stroke risk, study says
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 19, 2009
People who have had herpes zoster, or shingles, are more likely to have a stroke within the following year than those who did not have shingles, according to a study in the American Heart Assn.'s journal Stroke that appeared online Oct. 8 (link).
Researchers followed about 8,000 shingles patients for one year after treatment. The patients were matched by age and gender with 23,000 people who weren't treated for shingles. During the one-year follow-up, 133 shingles patients -- about 1.7% -- and 306 of the control group -- about 1.3% -- had strokes. Patients with herpes zoster ophthalmicus had an increased stroke risk of 5.8%.
The authors urged physicians and patients to control other risk factors for strokes, such as high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/10/19/prbf1019.htm.