(Reuters Health) - Shingles are more than just painful. A new study suggests that they may increase the risk of stroke.
Shingles is caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus, also called varicella zoster virus, which lays dormant in nerve fibers. When it's reactivated, often by trauma or stress, the virus can produce very painful skin blisters.
It's estimated that roughly one out of five people will at some point in their lives suffer an attack of shingles. (Read entire article)
Adults with shingles are at increased risk for stroke, especially if they have shingles that affects the eyes, a study shows.
The study is not the first to show an elevated stroke risk associated with shingles, but it is the first to quantify the risk, researchers say.
Compared to adults without shingles, those with the painful skin rash were about 30% more likely to suffer a stroke within a year of the attack. Patients who had shingles in and around an eye had four times the risk for stroke in the year following the episode. (Read entire article)