Herpes Zoster: Epidemiological Links With Stroke and Myocardial Infarction.

Warren-Gash, C. ;
Herpes Zoster: Epidemiological Links With Stroke and Myocardial Infarction.
J Infect Dis, 2018; 218(suppl_2):S102-S106

Routine data from electronic health records (EHRs) provide insights into links between herpes zoster (HZ) and cardiovascular complications such as stroke or myocardial infarction (MI) in different populations worldwide. Evidence from large EHR studies using both self-controlled case series and traditional cohort designs suggests that there is a transient increase in the risk of stroke after HZ, which gradually resolves over 6-12 months. In these studies, herpes zoster ophthalmicus was associated with a higher risk of stroke than HZ at other sites. A larger effect size was seen in people aged under 40 years. Existing studies also suggest that HZ may have a triggering effect on MI, although fewer studies examined this outcome. Further evidence is needed on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of vaccine and antiviral drugs to reduce cardiovascular complications after HZ from studies that are designed to minimize selection biases and confounding by indication.