Can the shingles vaccine also reduce the risk of stroke?

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By Alan Mozes
Reporter HealthDay

WEDNESDAY, February 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Seniors vaccinated with shingles vaccine may also have stroke protection, a new study shows.

Shingles is a viral infection associated with a high risk of stroke. But the overall risk of stroke is reduced by 20% in patients under the age of 80 who received the shingles vaccine. In patients 80 years of age and older, the risk was reduced by about 10%, researchers led by Quanhe Yang, a senior scientist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr Gregg Fonarow, director of the Ahmanson University-California, Los Angeles Center for Cardiomyopathy, said: "This is a win for the vaccination.

"Less shingles, fewer strokes," said Fonarow, who was not involved in the study.

Findings after reviewing Medicare records for more than 1 million patients over 66 years of age. All received shingles vaccines between 2008 and 2014. Stroke rates were monitored for the following four years.

Shingles is a severe pain of rash and blisters caused by chickenpox virus, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. If you have chicken pox, you will face a significant risk of eventually developing shingles.

Nearly all Americans age 40 and older carry the inactive chickenpox virus, or varicella-zoster virus. That, according to Fonarow, means that "nearly one-third of US adults will develop shingles at some point in their lives."

However, Yang and …


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