Incidence of Herpes Zoster Up for ≥50s With COVID-19 Diagnosis

Increased herpes zoster risk found for those with versus without COVID-19, with more pronounced risk following COVID-19 hospitalization
man holding his back in pain in front of two doctors
man holding his back in pain in front of two doctors

Adobe Stock

FRIDAY, April 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For adults aged 50 years or older, those with a COVID-19 diagnosis have an increased risk for developing herpes zoster, according to a study published online March 9 in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

Amit Bhavsar, M.B.B.S., from GSK in Wavre, Belgium, and colleagues compared the incidence of herpes zoster in those aged 50 years and older diagnosed with COVID-19 and those never diagnosed with COVID-19. A total of 394,677 individuals with COVID-19 were matched to 1,577,346 individuals without COVID-19 by age, sex, herpes zoster risk factors, and health care cost level.

The researchers found that the risk for herpes zoster was increased for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 versus those without (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.15). The increased risk was more pronounced after COVID-19 hospitalization (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.21).

"This is the first epidemiological evidence linking prior COVID-19 infection with increased shingles risk among older adults, who are already at heightened risk of shingles due to age-related decline in immunity," Temi Folaranmi, M.D., vice president and vaccines therapeutic area head of U.S. Medical Affairs at GSK, said in a statement. "It is important that health care professionals are aware of this potential increased risk so patients can be diagnosed and treated early if they develop shingles following COVID-19. These results also highlight the importance of preventative measures, such as vaccination, to protect the health and well-being of older adults who are at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases like COVID-19 and shingles."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the GSK group of companies.

Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

No stories found.
logo
www.healthday.com