History of Asthma May Be Linked to Shingles Risk in Adults

Odds of herpes zoster 70 percent higher among people with respiratory condition

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MONDAY, Jan. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a history of asthma may be more likely to develop herpes zoster, researchers report online Dec. 28 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 percent 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 70 percent 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, M.D., M.P.H., a general academic pediatrician and asthma epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic Children's Research Center in Rochester, Minn., said in a clinic news release.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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