Shingles risk rises in primary Sjögren’s syndrome affected adults

By: Bel Marra Health | General Health | Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 03:35 PM

Shingles risk rises in primary Sjögren’s syndrome affected adultsThe risk of shingles rises in patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome. Primary Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition that impairs many bodily functions and has been found to increase the risk of shingles.

To achieve their findings, researchers examined data from the National Health Insurance where they uncovered 4,287 patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome and 25,722 matched healthy controls.

For primary Sjögren’s syndrome, patient’s dry mouth and eyes were treated with immunosuppressants and pharmacological drugs like steroids. Patients were divided into the following groups: no pharmacological drugs, steroids alone, immunosuppressants alone, and combined therapies.

During the follow-up, 463 patients developed shingles along with 1,345 individuals from the control cohort. Shingles cases in Sjögren’s syndrome patients were higher compared to the matched cohort. The incidence of shingles was also found to increase with age, meaning the older a patient with Sjögren’s syndrome was, the higher the likelihood they would develop shingles compared to younger patients.

Furthermore, the presence of medication and pharmacological drugs also increased risk of shingles.

The researchers concluded that Sjögren’s syndrome patients are at a higher risk for shingles compared to those without the syndrome.

Earlier study links shingles risk and chickenpox vaccine

An alternative study found that the chickenpox vaccine also increases the risk of shingles in younger adults. The study concluded that vaccinating one-year-olds could temporarily double the risk of shingles for them as adults.

The relationship comes from the fact that when vaccinated as children, the young adults are not re-exposed to the virus, which normally helps the body to build antibodies. Without antibodies, the likelihood for an adult to develop shingles increases.

Those aged 31 to 40 years are in the greatest risk group. Lead author Dr. Benson Ogunjimi, said, “We were surprised to find that re-exposure to chickenpox is beneficial for so few years and also that the most pronounced effect of vaccination on increasing cases of shingles is in younger adults. Our findings should allay some fears about implementing childhood chickenpox vaccination.”

Scientists discover link between shingles risk and asthma

Shingles risk rises in primary Sjögren’s syndrome affected adultsAdditionally, researchers have recently established a link between shingles risk and asthma. The findings uncovered that sufferers of asthma are at a higher risk of developing the painful skin condition.

Asthma affects nearly 17 percent of the population, and not only does it affect the respiratory system, but it can result in immune dysfunction as well.

Researchers analyzed data from 371 patients suspected to have shingles, and compared that information with 742 healthy controls. Twenty-three percent of shingles patients had some history of asthma compared to 15 percent in the control group.

The findings reveal that asthma sufferers have a 70 percent greater risk of developing shingles compared to individuals who do not have asthma. Even though the association has been found between the two conditions, researchers have yet to pinpoint the exact cause and reasoning for the connection.

Related Reading

Chickenpox vaccine increases the risk of shingles in younger adults

Chickenpox vaccine increases the risk of shingles in younger adults. Shingles and chickenpox are both caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Luckily, there is a vaccine in order to reduce the risk of contracting both conditions. Chickenpox is more commonly seen in children, and shingles is more common in older adults. Continue reading…

Scientists discover link between shingles and asthma

According to a new study, the risk of developing the painful skin condition shingles is higher in people suffering from asthma than it is in non-asthmatic people. The findings of the new study build on previous studies, which suggest a link between the risk of shingles and asthma. Nearly one million Americans, especially older adults get affected by shingles every year. Continue reading…


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