Is Asthma Linked to Increased Risk of Shingles?

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Adults 50 years and older with asthma may benefit from vaccination against herpes zoster.
Adults 50 years and older with asthma may benefit from vaccination against herpes zoster.

HealthDay News — Patients with a history of asthma may be more likely to develop shingles, researchers report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The researchers analyzed the medical records of patients with suspected cases of zoster. They identified 371 people (average age, 67 years) with the condition. Those patients were compared to 742 people who didn't have zoster.

The researchers found that of the 371 zoster cases, 23% of the patients had a history of asthma. Fifteen percent of the people who didn't have zoster had asthma. People with a history of asthma had a roughly 7% higher risk for zoster than people without asthma.

"As asthma is an unrecognized risk factor for zoster in adults, consideration should be given to immunizing adults aged 50 years and older with asthma or atopic dermatitis as a target group for zoster vaccination," study author Young Juhn, MD, MPH, a general academic pediatrician and asthma epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic Children's Research Center in Rochester, Minn., said in a clinic news release.

Reference

Kwon HJ, Bang DW, Kim EN, et al. Asthma as a risk factor for zoster in adults: A population-based case-control study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016;137(5):1406-1412. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.10.032

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