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Childhood Asthma Linked to Increased Risk of Shingles in Adult Life

Update Date: Dec 31, 2015 09:26 AM EST

Scientists are exploring the rise of shingles and find that it is related to childhood asthma.

"Asthma represents one of the five most burdensome chronic diseases in the U.S., affecting up to 17 percent of the population," said Young Juhn, one of the researchers, in a news release. "The effect of asthma on the risk of infection or immune dysfunction might very well go beyond the airways."

Researchers examined the medical records of potential patients, among which 371 patients with shingles were quickly identified during the test period. About 23 percent of the patients exhibited asthma, compared to only 15 percent from the control group. So the adults who seemed to show asthma exhibited a 70 percent bigger risk of developing shingles.

"With asthma and other atopic conditions accounted for, both asthma and atopic dermatitis were independently associated with a higher risk of shingles," according to scienceworldreport.

While the mechanisms aren't too clear, the dysfunction in immune functions in the skin and airways is identified in patients with asthma or atopic dermatitis. As it helps to reduce adaptive immunity, it could also make the patient more exposed to the risk of varicella zoster virus reactivation.

"As asthma is an unrecognized risk factor for zoster in adults, consideration should be given to immunizing adults aged 50 years and older with asthma or atopic dermatitis as a target group for zoster vaccination," said Juhn.

The study has been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

YouTube/Mayo Clinic 

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