Fast Five Quiz: Herpes Zoster Risk Factors and Prevention

Ranjani Somayaji, MD


February 04, 2022

Figure 2: Encephalitis caused by varicella zoster virus.

Medical conditions associated with an increased risk for herpes zoster include inflammatory bowel disease. In a recent meta-analysis of six eligible cohort studies with 216,552 participants with inflammatory bowel disease, the pooled incidence rate of developing herpes zoster was 10.41 per 1000 person-years in the inflammatory bowel disease group and 6.10 per 1000 person-years in the non–inflammatory bowel disease group.

Individuals with chronic inflammatory skin diseases have several potential risk factors for herpes zoster, including long-term use of systemic immunosuppressants and immune dysregulation in the skin and periphery. A recent study identified that there were increased hospitalizations for herpes zoster among patients with lichen planus, Sézary syndrome, morphea, and pyoderma gangrenosum.

Both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are associated with an increased risk for herpes zoster, but the risk is higher with asthma.

Learn more about herpes zoster risk.


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