Fast Five Quiz: Herpes Zoster Risk Factors and Prevention

Ranjani Somayaji, MD


February 04, 2022

Several studies have shown that physical trauma is strongly associated with herpes zoster. For example, an age-matched, case-control study from 2014 had shown that patients with herpes zoster were 3.4 times as likely as controls to have experienced trauma in the week before herpes zoster onset. Patients with cranial herpes zoster were more than 25 times as likely as controls to have had cranial trauma in the week before disease onset, although the magnitude of the association lessened over time.

Smoking has not been identified to significantly increase the risk for herpes zoster.

Mood disorders have been associated with an increased risk for herpes zoster. For example, registry-based studies from Europe, the United States, and East Asia have reported 11%-52% increases in relative risk for herpes zoster among individuals with depression.

Learn more about herpes zoster.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.