Herpesvirus and risk of stroke

12 Dec 2018

Herpes zoster, caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus, is linked to an increased risk of stroke, according to a recent systematic review by Harriet Forbes and colleagues. In the review, the risk of stroke approximately doubled in the week after herpes zoster and gradually returned to baseline over the next six months. While recent infection with, or reactivation of, other members of the herpesvirus family such as cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus may increase stroke risk, further high quality evidence is needed to confirm these findings. The paper, which included 41 studies, has recently been published in PLoS ONE.

The findings are explained in the following infographic: