Statin use and the risk of herpes zoster: a nested case-control study using primary care data from the UK Clinical Research Practice Datalink.

Matthews, A. ; Turkson, M. ; Forbes, H. ; Langan, S.M. ; Smeeth, L. ; Bhaskaran, K. ;
Statin use and the risk of herpes zoster: a nested case-control study using primary care data from the UK Clinical Research Practice Datalink.
Br J Dermatol, 2016;

Statins are commonly prescribed worldwide and recent evidence suggests they may increase the risk of herpes zoster.

To quantify the effect of statin exposure on the risk of zoster in the UK.

A matched case-control study was conducted using data from UK primary care and hospital records. Patients >18 years with an incident diagnosis of zoster were matched to up to four controls on age, sex and general practice. Exposures were: ever use of a statin; daily dosage of most recent statin prescription; time since most recent statin prescription. The primary outcome was an incident diagnosis of zoster. Odds ratios were estimated from conditional logistic regression and adjusted for potential confounders.

A total of 144,959 incident cases of zoster were matched to 549,336 controls. Adjusted analysis suggested strong evidence for an increase in risk of zoster related to statin exposure (OR:1.13, 95% CI:1.11,1.15). There was also an increasing risk with increasing dose in current and recent users (p-trend<0.001), and an attenuation of excess risk in previous users as time since last exposure increased (p-trend<0.001).

These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that statin therapy leads to an increase in the risk of zoster. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.