An estimated one million cases of shingles are diagnosed every year in the US. The prevalence of the disease and especially among people aged between 50 and 59 years has high even though it has not been clear why the situation plays out as such.
The researchers from the Mayo Clinic have discovered that the effects of asthma on the risk of infection and immune dysfunction extend beyond the airways. Asthma suppresses the immune system increasing the risk of varicella zoster virus reactivation.
People with asthma had a 70 percent higher risk of developing shingles compared to people without asthma. The study also found that atopic dermatitis was linked to higher risk of shingles. Immunization against zoster should be given to people aged 50 and above with asthma or atopic dermatitis.
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Mike Dilkes MS FRCS(ORL-HNS), FRCSEd, FRCS
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