WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Vaccination with zoster vaccine live (ZVL) is associated with a reduced risk for stroke among older adults, according to a study to be presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 19 to 21 in Los Angeles.
Quanhe Yang, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the association between ZVL and risk for stroke among 1,382,051 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged ≥66 years without a history of stroke who received ZVL during 2008 to 2014 and 1,382,051 matched controls without ZVL.
The researchers documented 42,267 stroke events during a median follow-up of 3.9 years, including 33,510 acute ischemic strokes and 4,318 hemorrhagic strokes, among beneficiaries who received ZVL during 5,890,113 person-years. For controls, there were 48,139 stroke events, 39,334 acute ischemic strokes, and 4,713 hemorrhagic strokes during 5,693,943 person-years. Comparing beneficiaries with ZVL to controls, the adjusted hazard ratios were 0.84, 0.82, and 0.88 for all stroke, acute ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke, respectively. The association between ZVL and risk for stroke was largely consistent across sex and racial groups, but was stronger for beneficiaries aged 66 to 79 years than for those aged ≥80 years.
“Our study results may encourage people ages 50 and older to follow the recommendation and get vaccinated against shingles,” Yang said in a statement. “You are reducing the risk of shingles, and at the same time you may be reducing your risk of stroke.”
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