• Written By: Michael Vaphiades, DO

    This retrospective study assessed the risk of stroke during the one-year period following an episode of herpes zoster ophthalmicus. The study cohort comprised all 658 patients with a herpes zoster ophthalmicus diagnosis in 2003 and 2004 in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The comparison cohort was comprised of three randomly selected age- and gender-matched patients for every study group patient.

    Stroke developed in 8.1 percent of herpes zoster ophthalmicus patients and 1.7 percent of the comparison cohort during the one-year follow-up period. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, selected comorbidities and medication habits, herpes zoster ophthalmicus patients were found to have a 4.52-fold higher risk of stroke than the age- and gender-matched group.

    The authors conclude that herpes zoster ophthalmicus may represent a marker of increased risk of stroke development during the one-year follow-up period.