• >795,000 Americans get a stroke every year
  • 1 in 3 Americans develop shingles every year
  • Shingles infection can increase one's risk of stroke and heart diseases
  • Per new research, Zoster Vaccine Live  can prevent stroke risk by 16%

More than 795,000 Americans have a stroke and about 1 in 3 American adults develop shingles every year. It is important for the patients of shingles to be aware of heart disease risk since contracting shingles can increase an individual’s risk of stroke and heart attack. But a new study found that shingles vaccine can reduce stroke risk in older adults by about 16% and offer the strongest protection against stroke for people younger than 80.

According to the research which is about to be presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles next week, the Zoster Vaccine Live (a type of Shingles vaccination) might prevent older adults from suffering a stroke.

Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus which happens after the age 50 and more than 99% of Americans aged 40 and above carry the dormant chickenpox virus. The risk of developing shingles increases with age and other health conditions.

“One in three people who have had chickenpox develop shingles in their lifetime,” the American Heart Association’s Newsroom quoted the study’s lead author Quanhe Yang, Ph.D., senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. “The Zoster Vaccine Live helps to prevent shingles and reduces the risk for shingles by about 51%. But its effect declines with increased age, about 64% in people 60-69 years, about 41% for ages 70-79 years and about 18% in those 80 years or older,” he added.

Key findings of the study:

  • The shingles shot reduced stroke risk by about 16%, ischemic stroke risk by about 18% and hemorrhagic stroke risk by about 12%.
  • The vaccine offered the highest protection against stroke to individuals aged 66-79.
  • Among those under 80, the shingles vaccine reduced stroke risk by almost 20%.

Yang opined that the increase in stroke risk after shingles infection might be due to the inflammation caused by the virus. The findings of the study might urge people above 50 years of age to follow the recommendation and get vaccinated against shingles. Getting the shingles vaccine will not just protect you against the painful condition which causes skin blisters but also reducing the risk of stroke significantly.

Shingles vaccine can reduce stroke risk whitesession, PIxabay