Shingles, Health, Heart Attack, Stroke, Research, Study, Chickenpox

DETROIT (WWJ) – Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one out of every three people in the U.S. will develop the painful skin rash in their lifetime. Now a new study finds a link between shingles and heart disease.

Getting shingles puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Shingles was found to raise the risk of stroke by 35 percent and the risk of heart attack by about 60 percent. The risks were highest the first year after the onset of the painful rash and decreased over time.

“While these findings require further study into the mechanism that causes shingles patients to have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, it is important that physicians treating these patients make them aware of their increased risk,” lead researcher Sung-Han Kim said in a release.

More studies are planned to figure out the connection between shingles and heart disease.The CDC recommends a shingles vaccine for people age 60 and older.

  1. There is an indirect connection between shingles and risk of heart attack. Shingles is a manifestation of reduced immunity, which may result from a state of acidemia (for instance see Kellum et al. “Extracellular acidosis and the immune response: clinical and physiologic implications”, Critical Care October 2004 Vol 8 No 5).
    On the other hand, acidemia increases the risk of heart attacks, as explained in the following papers:
    Heitor Reis, A. “On the etiology of cardiovascular diseases: A new framework for understanding literature results”, Medical Hypotheses, 92, 94–99 (2016)
    Heitor Reis, A. “Acidemia and blood free fatty acids: analysis of cardiovascular risk factors in a new context.” Discovery Medicine 23(126):183-188 (2017) (OPEN ACCESS)

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