Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Patients most in need of the vaccine against shingles don't get it

Date:
May 13, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
People at the highest risk of shingles are those with immunosuppressive conditions -- such as HIV -- but they are not entitled to vaccination due to safety concerns, suggests research. Researchers say alternative strategies are needed to reduce the risk of shingles among these patient groups. Shingles is a common disease among older individuals which causes an acute painful rash and can lead to a complication resulting in pain lasting from months to years that can significantly impair a person's quality of life.

People at the highest risk of shingles are those with immunosuppressive conditions (such as HIV) but they are not entitled to vaccination due to safety concerns, suggests a paper published on bmj.com today.

Researchers say alternative strategies are needed to reduce the risk of shingles among these patient groups.

Shingles is a common disease among older individuals which causes an acute painful rash and can lead to a complication (called postherpetic neuralgia) resulting in pain lasting from months to years that can significantly impair a person's quality of life.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine used data from over 144,000 UK adults diagnosed with shingles between 2000 and 2011, and compared this with a group of patients without shingles, to explore whether patients with certain medical conditions may be at increased risk of developing shingles.

The median age at shingles diagnosis was found to be 62 years and around 60% of patients were female.

A number of relatively common conditions were associated with an increased risk of shingles. People with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or inflammatory bowel disease were 30-50% more likely to have a shingles diagnosis, than individuals without these conditions. Other common medical conditions which were associated with a smaller increase in shingles risk were asthma, chronic kidney disease, type 1 diabetes and depression.

Among those with some of these medical conditions the increased risk of shingles appeared to be greater among younger individuals. But because shingles is less common in younger individuals their absolute risk of developing shingles remains low.

A shingles vaccine is currently available and licensed among individuals aged over 50. Further research would be required to establish whether vaccination is warranted in patients with these medical conditions, particularly those in younger age groups not currently targeted to receive the vaccine; these individuals are less likely to develop long-term pain and complications from shingles.

However the researchers emphasise that those at the highest risk of shingles remain patients with conditions causing severe immunosuppression (such as HIV and leukaemia); for example patients with HIV were five times as likely to develop shingles compared to individuals without HIV. Such patients are currently not eligible for vaccination due to safety concerns. The researchers therefore say this study highlights the need to identify strategies to reduce the risk of shingles among patients with severe immunosuppression.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. J. Forbes, K. Bhaskaran, S. L. Thomas, L. Smeeth, T. Clayton, S. M. Langan. Quantification of risk factors for herpes zoster: population based case-control study. BMJ, 2014; 348 (may13 2): g2911 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g2911

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Patients most in need of the vaccine against shingles don't get it." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513190533.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, May 13). Patients most in need of the vaccine against shingles don't get it. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513190533.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Patients most in need of the vaccine against shingles don't get it." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513190533.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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