630. Family History and the Risk of Herpes Zoster
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Oh, Those Pesky Viruses!
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Room: Poster Hall

Background: Except for age and immunosuppression, the risk factors for herpes zoster (HZ) are largely unknown. Several case-control studies have examined the association between family history of HZ and the occurrence of HZ. However, the results were inconclusive and susceptible to bias.

Methods: The matched case-control study conducted at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in 2012-2014 included 660 incident HZ patients 60 years and older whose skin lesion tested positive for varicella zoster virus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Half of the HZ patients were vaccinated with zoster vaccine as achieved by stratified sampling. The control group was randomly selected from those who had never been diagnosed with HZ and 1:1 matched to the HZ patients on sex, age (±2 year), and zoster vaccination (±3 months of the case’s vaccination date). The case group received a face-to-face interview using a structured questionnaire to obtain information about potential risk factors for HZ, including family history of HZ. The control group was interviewed by phone with the same questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) corresponding to the association between having family members with history of HZ and the risk of HZ, controlling for the matching variables and other covariates.

Results: Equal numbers of HZ patients and controls reported that any parent had a history of HZ (13.3% in both groups, adjusted OR=1.15, 95% CI: 0.82-1.60). The adjusted OR associated with having any grandparent, sibling, and uncle/aunt/cousin with a history of HZ was 0.57 (95% CI: 0.24-1.38), 1.62 (95% CI: 1.03-2.55), and 1.18 (95% CI: 0.69-2.00), respectively. The adjusted OR associated with having any non-blood relative with a history of HZ was 1.86 (95% CI: 0.89-3.90). The adjusted OR associated with having one and two first-degree blood relatives with a history of HZ was 1.32 (95% CI: 1.00-1.75) and 2.02 (0.96-4.24), respectively, comparing to having no blood relative with HZ.

Conclusion: The results suggested only a weak association between the development of HZ and a positive family history of HZ. While our results were significant, we cannot rule out the possibility that differential recall influenced our findings.


Hung Fu Tseng, Ph.D., MPH1, Margaret Chi, MD, MPH1, Peggy Hung, BA1, Rafael Harpaz, MD, MPH2, D. Scott Schmid, PhD2, Philip S. Larussa, MD3, Yi Luo, MS1, Kimberly Holmquist, MPHc1, Lina Sy, MPH1 and Steven Jacobsen, MD, PhD1, (1)Research and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, CA, (2)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, (3)Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Columbia University, New York, NY


H. F. Tseng, None

M. Chi, None

P. Hung, None

R. Harpaz, None

D. S. Schmid, None

P. S. Larussa, None

Y. Luo, None

K. Holmquist, None

L. Sy, None

S. Jacobsen, None

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