Dementia risk higher in herpes zoster ophthalmicus patients
The risk of subsequent dementia is significantly higher in patients with herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO), a recent study from Taiwan has shown.
After retrieving the records from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005, researchers followed 846 HZO patients (mean age 62.2±12.5 years) for 5 years and assessed the development of dementia. Cox proportional hazards analysis was performed to determine the risk of dementia in HZO patients compared to 2,538 non-HZO controls (mean age 61.4±13.3 years) in the comparison group.
Over the 5-year follow-up, the incidence rate of dementia in the entire study population was 5.24 per 1,000 person-years. Respective incidence rates for the HZO and control groups were 10.15 and 3.61 per 1,000 person-years, yielding in significantly different dementia-free accumulated survival rates between the groups (p<0.001).
After adjusting for covariates like age, sex and comorbidities, those with HZO were found to be at a significantly higher risk of dementia than controls (hazard ratio [HR], 2.97; 95 percent CI, 1.90 to 4.67).
To account for potential surveillance bias, the research team excluded four patients who were diagnosed with dementia within 2 months of their index date. Subsequent analysis showed the same elevated dementia risk for HZO patients (crude HR, 2.82; 1.80 to 4.41).
Subgroup analysis showed that the trend was independent of sex, as both male (HR, 3.41; 1.78 to 6.53) and female (HR, 2.98; 1.54 to 5.77) HZO patients had higher risk of dementia compared to controls.