Elevation of ambient temperature is associated with an increased risk of herpes zoster: a time-series analysis

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Although varicella zoster (VZ) and herpes zoster (HZ) are caused by the same varicella zoster virus (VZV), the former is caused by primary infection while the latter is caused by reactivation of latent VZV, and their relationships with ambient temperature are also different. It is relatively well-established that VZ incidence declines with ambient temperature, but the relationship between HZ and ambient temperature is inconclusive. Thus, we investigated the effects of ambient temperature on the incidence of HZ in time-series analysis by using data from the Korean National Emergency Department Information System between 2014 and 2016. We applied a generalized linear model to investigate the relationship between ambient temperature and emergency room (ER) visits due to HZ, after controlling for confounders in seven metropolitan cities and nine provinces in South Korea. Region-specific estimates were pooled to obtain the national average estimates. There were a total of 61,957 ER visits nationwide for HZ during the study period. HZ significantly increased by 2.03% to 2.94% in the moving average lag models throughout 0 to 11 days with maximum percent increase of 2.94% (95% CI: 2.20, 3.68) in the 6-day moving average lag model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12254
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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