Washington, Jan 12 (ANI): A new study has found that receiving the herpes zoster vaccine is associated with a 55 percent reduced risk of developing shingles, a painful, lingering disease.
The Kaiser Permanente researchers observed the outcomes of the effectiveness of the herpes zoster vaccine in a large, diverse population of men and women ages 60 years and older.
They found a significant reduced risk of shingles across all sub-groups-those who are healthy as well as those with chronic conditions including diabetes or heart, lung or kidney diseases.
Shingles is caused by the dormant chickenpox virus, which stays in the body after a person has recovered from chickenpox. The virus can reactivate and replicate and cause shingles and damage to the nerve system. The elderly are especially vulnerable because as we age, our immunity against the virus that causes shingles declines.
The retrospective observational study looked at 75,761 vaccinated and 227,283 unvaccinated male and female members of Kaiser Permanente in Southern California from 2007 to 2009, using electronic health records to compare the incidence of shingles of the vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.
The study appeared in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. (ANI)