Health Discoveries in General Health News

Shingles recurrences more common than previously believed

February 9, 2011

Repeat cases of shingles are more likely to develop than previously believed, based on patients tracked for eight years after they experienced the disease, researchers at Olmsted Medical Center in Minnesota found.

In that time, among 1,700 adults diagnosed with shingles between 1996 and 2001, the recurrence rate was more than 5 percent.

"And that's only within eight years [of follow-up]. As you continue to follow these patients throughout their lives, it's likely the recurrence rate will be much higher than 5 percent," said Dr. Barbara Yawn, director of research at Olmsted.

Published in the February issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the study also found that those patients who experienced longer periods of pain related to shingles were more likely to have a recurrence. Women are more likely to experience the condition than men.

A vaccine for the herpes zoster virus that causes shingles reduces first-time occurrences by 50 percent and could prevent repeat cases, the study indicates.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, shingles is among the conditions that is treated with nerve block procedures in the pain program of the Cushing Neurosciences Institutes.

  • Bookmark this Page
  • Toggle Text Size
  • Print this Page
Search Shingles recurrences more common than previously believed: