Sunday, June 22, 2014

Shingles, strokes, antiviral drugs

When Shingles Is Just the Beginning - "....The study found an even higher stroke rate among those whose shingles spread to their eyes, though most are spared that particular misery. It also found that the antiviral drugs given for shingles also reduced subsequent strokes — but only 55 percent of patients received them. Previous studies in Taiwan and Denmark have shown elevated stroke rates after shingles, Dr. Langan pointed out, so despite our differences from Britain, Americans also may face an elevated stroke risk after an episode of shingles. You have to think folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are gnashing their teeth about this. For several years, they’ve been urging older Americans — those who aren’t immunosuppressed — to get vaccinated against shingles. The vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective, but it can cut the risk of shingles roughly in half and reduces postherpetic neuralgia by even more. Yet the latest data (from 2012) show that only 20 percent of those over age 60 have gotten it — paltry compared with the percentage vaccinated against flu (66 percent of those over age 65) or pneumonia (60 percent)...." (read more at link above)

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