Thursday, January 09, 2014

Shingles and stroke risk

I've never had shingles and hope to never experience that ailment. Like most of you, I know people who've had shingles and have heard horror stories.

But is the disease a sign for future stroke risk? This recent article cites research that younger adults who've had shingles may face higher stroke risk:
From the National Institutes of Health
Adults who get shingles after 40 don't have an increased risk of stroke. But along with those who had shingles before 40, they do have a higher risk of heart attack and "transient ischemic attack" (TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke, the study authors said.
"In those aged less than 40 years at the time of herpes zoster, the risk of stroke, TIA and [heart attack] occurring in the years following was significantly higher than in [people without the infection]," said Dr. Judith Breuer, study lead author and a professor of virology and head of infection and immunity at University College London, in England.
"Herpes zoster is also more common in individuals who have risk factors for vascular disease, including diabetes and [high blood pressure]," Breuer said.
Now, this is not designed to add to someone's anxiety (see a couple of posts before) but rather give a heads-up to take action to avoid the risk factors Breuer cites.

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