This Cardiovascular risk increases following herpes zoster. We investigated whether treatment with antiviral agents, steroids, and common cardiovascular medications was associated with the risk of postherpetic cardiovascular events. This was a nationwide population-based, retrospective, cohort study using the National Health Insurance Service health claims data in Korea. We included patients with a first-ever diagnosis of herpes zoster in 2003–2014 and no prior cardiovascular event. The primary outcome was the occurrence of composites of myocardial infarction (International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, code I21) and stroke (codes I60–I63) since the herpes zoster. We analyzed the exposure (intravenous or oral administration) to antiviral agents, steroids, antithrombotics, and statins within ±7 days from the index date of herpes zoster diagnosis. Follow-up was performed until the occurrence of the primary outcome, death, or 31 December 2015, whichever came first.

Of 84 993 patients with herpes zoster, the proportions of patients who received the treatment with antiviral agents, steroids, antithrombotics, and statins were 90.5%, 48.0%, 9.1%, and 7.9%, respectively. During the mean (standard deviation) follow-up period of 5.4 (3.1) years, 1523 patients experienced the primary outcome. Multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that treatment with antiviral agents (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval, .71–.95) and statins (0.71; .59–.85) were significantly associated with the lower risk of the primary outcome. The use of antithrombotics and steroids was not associated with the risk.

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