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Does Herpes Zoster Increase the Risk of Stroke and Myocardial Infarction? A Comprehensive Review

1
Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
2
Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
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Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
4
Department of Family Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(4), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8040547
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Microbiology & Parasitology)
Herpes zoster (HZ) caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV) reactivation is characterized as a vesicular rash of unilateral distribution that can also cause multiple complications; such as post-herpetic neuralgia; ophthalmic zoster; and other neurological issues. VZV can also increase incident hemorrhagic or ischemic complications by causing inflammatory vasculopathy. Thus; emerging epidemiological and clinical data recognizes an association between HZ and subsequent acute strokes or myocardial infarction (MI). This study reviewed published articles to elucidate the association between HZ and cerebrovascular and cardiac events. Individuals exposed to HZ or herpes zoster ophthalmicus had 1.3 to 4-fold increased risks of cerebrovascular events. Higher risks were noted among younger patients (age < 40 years) within one year after an HZ episode. The elevated risk of CV events diminished gradually according to age and length of time after an HZ episode. The putative mechanisms of VZV vasculopathy were also discussed. Several studies showed that the development of herpes zoster and herpes zoster ophthalmicus increased the risks of stroke; transient ischemic attack; and acute cardiac events. The association between VZV infection and cardiovascular events requires further studies to establish the optimal antiviral treatment and zoster vaccination to reduce zoster-associated vascular risk View Full-Text
Keywords: herpes zoster; stroke; myocardial infarction; cardiovascular disease herpes zoster; stroke; myocardial infarction; cardiovascular disease
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Wu, P.-H.; Chuang, Y.-S.; Lin, Y.-T. Does Herpes Zoster Increase the Risk of Stroke and Myocardial Infarction? A Comprehensive Review. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 547.

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