Seasonality of herpes zoster and herpes zoster ophthalmicus.


To determine whether HZ and HZO are seasonal.

Herpes zoster (HZ) and herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO) are common and debilitating diseases. There is no consensus in the literature whether HZ and HZO exhibit seasonal patterns.

All patients in the OptumLabs® Data Warehouse (OLDW), a longitudinal, insurance claims database with de-identified lives between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2017 with 365 days or more of continuous enrollment were considered in the study. The database was queried for patients reporting a new ICD-9/ICD-10 code for HZ or HZO and monthly counts of each administrative code were modeled using Morelet wavelets and analyzed for annual periodicity using Fisher's g test.

These results contribute to a growing body of evidence suggesting that HZ may be seasonal and help characterize the epidemiology of this common, painful disease.

There were a total of 513,911 new cases of HZ during this time period; 40,166 cases (7.8 %) were reported as HZO. Administrative coding for new cases of HZ exhibited annual periodicity (P < .001) with a peak in the summer. No periodicity was evident for HZO.

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