Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Increased Risk of herpes Zoster among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

 A recent study publication suggests patients with COPD are at an increased risk of herpes zoster in relation to the greater population, with the most significant risk for patients with COPD and currently using oral steroids. 

The study was done because COPD is commonly associated with systemic inflammation and irregular immune function, that was expected to predispose patients to developing herpes zoster.  Thus the study was executed with data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database. 

The study incorporated 8486 patients with COPD and 33, 944 control patients, and suggest that those with COPD are more likely to develop herpes zoster.

I suppose it was already commonly known that weakened immune systems will be more prone to herpes zoster, but does it really make a difference to relate the disease occurrence with COPD.  It is interesting, but I don't think the who cares factor is big enough for this study to be influential in the health care setting.  I don't think it will change treatment significantly, except for suggesting the vaccine be delivered to differing populations.  Either way, I do not think the disease is serious enough to lead to any significant change because of this study.


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