Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shingles linked to increased risk of stroke in young adults

Date:
January 2, 2014
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
Having shingles may increase the risk of having a stroke years later, according to research.

Having shingles may increase the risk of having a stroke years later, according to research published in the January 2, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After people recover from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the nerve roots. In some people, the virus reactivates years later as shingles.

People age 18 to 40 who had shingles were more likely to have a stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack, also called a TIA or warning for a stroke, years later than people who had not had shingles. People over 40 who had shingles were more likely to have a heart attack or TIA, but not a stroke, than those who had not had shingles.

The study involved 106,600 people who had shingles and 213,200 people of similar ages who did not have shingles. Using a United Kingdom database, researchers reviewed the participants' records for an average of six years after the shingles diagnosis and for as long as 24 years for some participants.

People under 40 years old were 74 percent more likely to have a stroke if they had had shingles, after adjusting for stroke risk factors such as obesity, smoking and high cholesterol. A total of 40 people with shingles had a stroke, or 0.21 percent, compared to 45 of those who had not had shingles, or 0.12 percent. People under 40 were 2.4 times more likely to have a TIA if they had shingles and 50 percent more likely to have a heart attack.

The numbers were not as large in people over 40. They were 15 percent more likely to have a TIA and 10 percent more likely to have a heart attack if they had shingles.

Study author Judith Breuer, MD, of University College London said that for older people better screening and treatment for stroke risk factors, including diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, may explain why they are at lower risk than younger subjects of stroke, TIA and heart-related events following shingles.

"Anyone with shingles, and especially younger people, should be screened for stroke risk factors," Breuer said. "The shingles vaccine has been shown to reduce the number of cases of shingles by about 50 percent. Studies are needed to determine whether vaccination can also reduce the incidence of stroke and heart attack. However, what is also clear is that factors that increase the risk of stroke also increase the risk of shingles, so we do not know if vaccinating people can reduce the risk of stroke per se. Current recommendations are that anyone 60 years and older should be vaccinated. The role for vaccination in younger individuals with vascular risk factors needs to be determined."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Breuer, M. Pacou, A. Gauthier, M. M. Brown. Herpes zoster as a risk factor for stroke and TIA: A retrospective cohort study in the UK. Neurology, 2014; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000038

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Shingles linked to increased risk of stroke in young adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102165650.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2014, January 2). Shingles linked to increased risk of stroke in young adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102165650.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Shingles linked to increased risk of stroke in young adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102165650.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins