Self-reported herpes zoster, pain, and health care seeking in the Health and Retirement Study: implications for interpretation of health care-based studies.

TitleSelf-reported herpes zoster, pain, and health care seeking in the Health and Retirement Study: implications for interpretation of health care-based studies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHales, CM, Harpaz, R, Bialek, SR
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Volume26
Issue6
Pagination441-446.e3
Date Published2016 Jun
ISSN Number1873-2585
KeywordsEducation, Herpes, Older Adults, Risk Factors
Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe self-reported herpes zoster (HZ) and explore factors that could impact interpretation of results from health care-based HZ studies.

METHODS: We performed logistic regression using data from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to evaluate risk factors for having a history of HZ and experiencing severe HZ pain, and predictors for seeking health care for HZ.

RESULTS: Among 14,564 respondents aged ≥55 years, women were more likely than men to report a history of HZ (15.7% vs. 11.6%, P < .01). Blacks (6.4% vs. 14.7% in whites, P < .01) and respondents with less than a high school diploma (12.2% vs.14.2% in respondents with at least a high school diploma, P = .01) were less likely to report a history of HZ. Women, blacks, Hispanics, and those with less than a high school diploma were more likely to report severe HZ pain. Most (91.1%) respondents sought health care for HZ; Hispanics (64.2% vs. 92.1% in whites, P < .001) and those with recurrent HZ were less likely to seek health care for HZ, whereas those with severe pain were more likely (95.4% vs. 87.9% in those without severe pain, P < .01).

CONCLUSIONS: HRS provides a new platform for studies of HZ, one which allowed us to uncover issues that warrant particular attention when interpreting results of health care-based studies.

URLhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27180114
DOI10.1016/j.annepidem.2016.04.006
Alternate JournalAnn Epidemiol
Citation Key8488
PubMed ID27180114