Racial differences in the occurrence of herpes zoster.


Journal Article

The purpose of this study was to determine if there are racial differences in the occurrence of herpes zoster (shingles). The study population was the Duke Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly, a probability sample of community-dwelling persons > 64 years old in North Carolina. Interviewers administered a comprehensive health survey to the participants that included questions about lifetime occurrence of shingles. Of the 3206 subjects, 316 (9.9%) had had zoster: 81 (4.5%) of 1754 blacks and 235 (16.1%) of 1452 whites had had shingles (P < .0001). After controlling for age, cancer, and demographic factors, blacks remained one-fourth as likely as whites (adjusted odds ratio 0.25, 95% confidence interval 0.18-0.35; P = .0001) to have experienced zoster. In summary, blacks had a significantly lower risk of developing herpes zoster than whites, a new finding in herpes zoster epidemiology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schmader, K; George, LK; Burchett, BM; Pieper, CF; Hamilton, JD

Published Date

  • March 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 171 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 701 - 704

PubMed ID

  • 7876622

Pubmed Central ID

  • 7876622

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1899

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/infdis/171.3.701


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States