• Herpes Zoster (Shingles) Risk Factors

Risk Factors
  • Increasing Age: The risk for contracting herpes increases with increasing age. People above age 85 have a 50% chance of having shingles. The risk for shingles complications also increases dramatically after age 50.
  • Immunosuppression: People with weakened immune systems from diseases such as AIDS or childhood cancers are at greater risk for having shingles attack.
  • Immunosuppressive drugs: People who are taking drugs for suppressing the immune response (those who have undergone organ transplantation or those who have severe autoimmune diseases) are at greater risk for developing shingles.
  • Cancer: Certain cancers increase the risk for getting shingles. Hodgkin's disease, lymphomas and other cancers increase the risk for developing shingles. Chemotherapy itself increases the risk for shingles.