- Stroke survivors have a sharply increased risk for herpes zoster, with complications differing by stroke type.
Why this matters
- Herpes zoster is associated with considerable pain and morbidity.
- Episodes can be treated with pain medication and antivirals.
- Compared with control group, survivors had elevated risk in the first year for:
- Overall stroke: adjusted HR, 25.27 (P<.0001>
- Hemorrhagic stroke: incident rate ratio (IRR), 2.31 (95% CI, 1.67-3.20); and
- Ischemic stroke: IRR, 2.51 (95% CI, 2.09-3.02).
- Herpes zoster ophthalmicus after hemorrhagic stroke: IRR, 12.46 (95% CI, 4.00-38.76); and
- Postherpetic neuralgia after ischemic stroke: IRR, 2.24 (95% CI, 1.56-3.20).
- Taiwanese nationwide retrospective case-control study using claims data for:
- 20,551 stroke survivors, and
- 20,551 unaffected control individuals matched for age, sex, age group, and Charlson Comorbidity Index score.
- Main outcome: herpes zoster risk.
- Funding: Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology; Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital.
- Possible misclassification of herpes zoster diagnosis.
- Lack of information on potential confounders such as smoking habits, alcohol intake, nutritional status.
- Stroke severity, other features unknown.