Zoster more likely in people with mobility problems

“Having a diagnosis of zoster was certainly higher among those participants who had a physical limitation and comparable to other known risk factors like having a recent cancer diagnosis,” said lead researcher, epidemiologist Associate Professor Bette Liu from the University of NSW.

Using pharmaceutical treatment and hospitalisation data from participants involved in the 45 and Up Study, Professor Liu and colleagues found more than 7700 individuals in the original cohort who had a zoster diagnosis – 253 of whom had been hospitalised with a severe form of the infection.  

Having a recent immunosuppressive condition, being female, having a recent cancer diagnosis and severe physical limitation versus none were all risk factors for a zoster diagnosis.

According to Professor Liu, there was a 30% increased risk of zoster diagnosis in people with severe physical limitations and a more than twofold risk of hospitalisation