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The Association between Herpes Zoster and Increased Cancer Risk: A Nationwide Population-Based Matched Control Study

1
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
2
Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This work was presented in part as Ji Hoon Sim’s MS thesis at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine (2021).
Received: 26 April 2021 / Revised: 29 June 2021 / Accepted: 12 July 2021 / Published: 17 July 2021
Background: Herpes zoster (HZ) is strongly associated with decreased immune function, a factor of cancer development. Previous studies suggested inconsistent results regarding the association between HZ and increased cancer risk. We aimed to analyze the association between HZ and specific cancer risk. Methods: Of 134,454 patients diagnosed with HZ between 2002 and 2015, 81,993 HZ patients were matched 1:1 with non-HZ individuals by age, sex, and Charlson comorbidity index. Both groups were examined at 1, 3, and 5 years for cancer diagnosis. A Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to estimate cancer risk in both groups. The postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and non-HZ groups were compared for specific cancer risk. Results: The HZ group showed a slightly decreased overall cancer risk compared with the non-HZ group (hazard ratio [HR] 0.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.90–0.97, p = 0.002). The HRs for specific cancer risk were 0.41 (95% CI, 0.33–0.50, p < 0.001); 0.86 (95% CI, 0.81–0.91, p < 0.001); 0.87 (95% CI, 0.78–0.97, p = 0.014); 0.80 (95% CI 0.73–0.87, p < 0.001); 1.20 (95% CI, 1.07–1.34, p = 0.001); and 1.66 (95% CI, 1.35–2.03, p < 0.001) for cancers of the lips, mouth, and pharynx; digestive system; respiratory system; unknown secondary and unspecified sites; thyroid and endocrine glands; and lymphoid and hematopoietic systems, respectively. The HZ with PHN group showed higher HR for specific cancer risk, such as lymphoid and hematopoietic systems (95% CI, 1.27–2.39, p < 0.001). Conclusion: HZ was associated with increased or decreased incidence of specific cancers. PHN further increased the risk of developing certain cancers in HZ patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer risk; herpes zoster; postherpetic neuralgia; hazard ratio; lymphoid cancer cancer risk; herpes zoster; postherpetic neuralgia; hazard ratio; lymphoid cancer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sim, J.-H.; Cho, H.-S.; Kim, Y.-D.; Mun, J.; Kim, S.-B.; Lee, J.-H.; Leem, J.-G. The Association between Herpes Zoster and Increased Cancer Risk: A Nationwide Population-Based Matched Control Study. Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28, 2720-2730. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/curroncol28040237

AMA Style

Sim J-H, Cho H-S, Kim Y-D, Mun J, Kim S-B, Lee J-H, Leem J-G. The Association between Herpes Zoster and Increased Cancer Risk: A Nationwide Population-Based Matched Control Study. Current Oncology. 2021; 28(4):2720-2730. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/curroncol28040237

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sim, Ji-Hoon, Hyun-Seok Cho, Young-Do Kim, Juhan Mun, Sung-Bae Kim, Jong-Hyuk Lee, and Jeong-Gil Leem. 2021. "The Association between Herpes Zoster and Increased Cancer Risk: A Nationwide Population-Based Matched Control Study" Current Oncology 28, no. 4: 2720-2730. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/curroncol28040237

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