Shingles risk increases in people with lupus, COPD, and rheumatoid arthritis

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Shingles risk increases in people with lupus, COPD, and rheumatoid arthritis

The risk of shingles risk increases in those with lupus, COPD, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Shingles risk increases in people with lupus, COPD, and rheumatoid arthritis. Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is the same virus responsible for chickenpox. When a person contracts the chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body, but when it becomes active again, it can result in shingles, which commonly occurs in adults.

A study published in Lupus found that lupus patients had a 70 percent higher risk of shingles, compared to individuals without inflammatory diseases. There have been other studies as well, which found higher risk of shingles in lupus patients. Researchers believe it has to do with cell-mediated immunity in lupus patients, along with immunosuppressant medications, which many of them take to manage lupus.

The investigators of the study compared cases of shingles in lupus patients to individuals with non-inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions. They collected data from semi-annual questionnaires, which were submitted to the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases (NDB) between 2001 and 2009.

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