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Atopy a Risk Factor for Ocular Herpes Disease

Severe atopy increases risk 4.8-fold over control population

THURSDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Atopic disease -- and especially severe atopy -- is a risk factor for ocular herpes simplex virus disease, according to a report in the November issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

David Gritz, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, population-based, case-control study including over one million participants to determine whether atopy is associated with herpes simplex virus ocular disease.

Atopy was found to be more prevalent in the 172 patients identified with herpes simplex virus ocular disease than in clinic-based or population-based controls (34, 25 and 21 percent, respectively). The odds ratio for ocular herpes simplex virus reached 4.8 when comparing those with severe atopic disease to the population control group.

"Given that atopic disease may be increasing in prevalence, an associated increase in herpetic eye infections could affect both individuals and populations significantly," the authors write.

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