Development Of Shingles Linked To Family History

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A current report published in the Archives of Dermatology
finds that individuals who have herpes zoster – commonly called shingles
– are far more likely to
have family members that also have had the illness.

Herpes zoster is a disorder characterized by a skin rash with blisters
in a particular place or on a single side of their human body. It’s caused when the
virus varicella zoster – the virus which triggers chickenpox – becomes
reactivated in nerves of the spinal cord. Although nearly all adults
take varicella zoster, just between 10 percent and 30% really develop
shingles. The disease contributes to nerve wracking and can be quite costly to
deal with. Individuals who are elderly, depressed, and have compromised immune
systems or other disorders are more likely to suffer from shingles.
But, it’s also been previously demonstrated that gender, ethnicity, stress,
trauma and exposure to heavy metals
are risk factors related to the disease. Recent research within the
area of genetics has led to further associated risk factors for
shingles and other infectious diseases related to decreased immune

The study focus of Lindsey D. Hicks, B.S. (University of Texas
Medical School in Houston)
and coworkers managed to evaluate risk factors for herpes zoster past age
and immunosuppression, especially due to the availability of a
new herpes zoster disease. The researchers examined 504 patients that
had been treated for herpes zoster involving 1992 and
2005 and compared them to 523 control people who had been treated to
additional small or chronic skin ailments
in precisely the exact same clinic. Further data were gathered that pertained to
demographic data in addition to the family and personal history of
herpes zoster.

The authors’ key finding was that, “A substantially higher percentage
of instances reported with a family
history of herpes zoster (39.3 percent vs. 10.5 percent).” In comparison to
people from the control group, people who had herpes zoster were 4. 35
times as likely to possess a
first-degree comparative and 4. 27 times more likely to get some other
blood relative with
a history of this illness.

“Our analysis indicates a strong association between the growth of
zoster and with a blood relative with a history of zoster. Such
patients represent a people which might be at heightened risk
of developing herpes zoster and so have a larger demand for
Therefore, targeting those at-risk people according to their family
can diminish both their likelihood of potential herpes zoster disease and
healthcare expenses toward herpes zoster morbidity,” conclude the authors.

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