Recombinant zoster vaccine cuts infection risk in older IBD patients

24 Jul 2021
Recombinant zoster vaccine cuts infection risk in older IBD patients

Older inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients who receive the recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) are less likely to develop herpes zoster infection, as shown in a study.

The retrospective study used data from the national Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VAHS) and included 33,300 IBD patients. They were grouped into two according to age, with 7,008 patients aged 50-60 years and 26,292 >60 years.

More than 70 percent of the population were White, and most had comorbidities. Furthermore, each group had a greater proportion of patients with ulcerative colitis than Crohn's disease.

Cox regression with time varying analysis showed that compared with nonvaccination, full-dose vaccination with RZV yielded a significant reduction in the crude incidence rate of herpes zoster infection. This was true for both the 50–60-year age group (from 3.93 to 0.0 per 1,000 person-years) and the >60-year age group (from 4.57 to 1.80 per 1,000 person-years).

The results were consistent despite multivariate adjustment, with RZV cutting the risk of herpes zoster infection in both age groups (50–60 years: hazard ratio [HR], 0.00; p<0.001; >60 years: HR, 0.39; p=0.01).

The findings suggest that RZV vaccination is beneficial to older adults with IBD. As such, greater efforts should be made to vaccinate all IBD patients against RZV.

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