The Korea Herald


Middle-aged women and herpes zoster


Published : Sept. 1, 2011 - 19:15

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About one out of every four herpes zoster (shingles) patients are women 50 or older.

According to the Mayo clinic’s definition, herpes zoster is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on the body, it most often appears as a band of blisters that wraps from the middle of the back to one side of the chest to the breastbone.

According to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment, the number of people who have visited medical facilities to treat shingles amounted to 480,000 last year, a rise of about 41.1 percent from 2006. The patients spent a total of 44.4 billion won ($41.1 mil) last year.

Women outnumbered men by 288,315 to 195,218 and the majority of female patients, or 72,324 women, were 50 or older.

“Women seem more prone to shingles because of stress and diet. Especially when they experience menopause, their immune system is weakened,” said Ha Sang-mi, a HIRA official.

“People need to visit nearest clinics and take plenty of rest. Avoid contact with other people and keep a healthy diet,” she added.