This Vaccine May Lower Stroke Risk for Older Adults

happy older couple
Photo by kurhan / Shutterstock.com

Getting vaccinated for shingles may reduce your risk of stroke, especially for people age 66 to 79.

However, that discovery — reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after researchers there studied years of data related to vaccinated patients — comes with a big caveat, at least for now.

The findings are based on an analysis of data on more than 1 million Medicare recipients age 66 or older with no history of stroke who had received the zoster vaccine between 2008 and 2014. This version of the shingles vaccine is largely being replaced by Shingrix, a new and more effective shingles vaccine that became available in 2017.

At this time, it is unknown if Shingrix will confer the same stroke-prevention benefit as the earlier shingles vaccine. However, there is every reason to think that it will.

Study lead author Quanhe Yang, a senior scientist at the CDC, said in an American Heart Association announcement that shingles itself has been linked to an increased risk of stroke:

“The reason for increased risk of stroke after a shingles infection may be due to inflammation caused by the virus.”

The CDC researchers found that people who were vaccinated with the zoster vaccine live version of the shingles vaccine had:

  • A 16% lower risk of stroke in general
  • An 18% lower risk of ischemic (clot-caused) stroke specifically
  • A 12% lower risk of hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke specifically

The vaccine reduced the risk of stroke by nearly 20% among those under the age of 80, by about 10% in those over 80. The researchers said the protective effect was strongest among people ages 66 to 79.

Shingles is a painful, blistering rash that typically clears within a few weeks. However, it also can lead to prolonged complications, ranging from postherpetic neuralgia — a condition that causes lingering pain in the areas where a person had the shingles rash — to blindness.

If you’ve had chickenpox, you’re at risk for shingles. Yang says more than 99% of people ages 40 and older in the U.S. carry the dormant chickenpox virus, also known as the varicella-zoster virus, and 1 in 3 people who have had chickenpox will develop shingles.

The CDC currently recommends that everyone 50 and older get a shingles vaccine — specifically, Shingrix. But it isn’t the only important vaccine that older folks need. For more, check out “Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines.”

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches
14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches

WD-40 is handy in a lot more situations than you likely realize.

17 Amazon Finds Under $20 That Will Organize Your Life
17 Amazon Finds Under $20 That Will Organize Your Life

We’ve rounded up must-have products to help you get your ducks in a row.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

Small Splurges That Make It Feel Like You’re Living Large
Small Splurges That Make It Feel Like You’re Living Large

Cutting costs is the shortest path to financial freedom. However, there are times when a little spending can produce big returns.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Social Security Checks Likely to Grow This Much in 2021
Social Security Checks Likely to Grow This Much in 2021

The federal government recently released a key statistic that gives clear insight into what next year’s COLA will be.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security
This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security

Both men and women are most likely to start receiving Social Security benefits at this age.

6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s
6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s

We love Trader Joe’s for plenty of reasons. But think twice about this handful of products.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less
5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less

In this week’s podcast: tips on retiring overseas — from someone who’s been helping American expats for decades.

Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

One type of food associated with the Mediterranean diet offers especially large benefits.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value
9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value

Homeowners, beware these mistakes that can drive away potential buyers.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them
15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.