BurDeN Study: Incidence and Burden of Disease from Shingles and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia in the over 80 year olds in the UK

Date of Approval
Application Number
Technical Summary

Background: The UK herpes zoster (HZ) national immunisation programme currently covers individuals aged 70-79 years old. Research suggests a large proportion of ?80 year olds who were previously eligible may have missed out on vaccination, remaining at increased risk of disease. The most common complication of HZ is post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a chronic neuropathic pain condition that persists for 3 months or more following an outbreak of HZ. Most occurrences of HZ occur after the age of 50 and older individuals are more likely to develop PHN. However, there is currently a lack of published information on HZ among individuals aged over 80 years.

Objectives: This study will describe the epidemiological and economic burden of HZ and PHN in the immunocompetent UK population aged ?80 years unvaccinated against HZ. Number of individuals who lost eligibility for vaccination due to the 80-year cut-off will be quantified.

Methods: Individuals will be identified in Clinical Practice Research Datalink/Hospital Episode Statistics from 1st September 2013 (introduction of immunisation programme) until 6 months before end of available data. Descriptive statistics will be provided for rates of HZ, PHN and healthcare resource utilisation and number of individuals who have lost eligibility for HZ vaccination because of the 80-year cut-off. Rates will be applied to national population statistics to estimate national preventable disease burden in the UK.

Importance: This study will provide information on the burden of HZ among ?80 year olds and support evaluations by relevant UK stakeholders considering the national HZ vaccination programme eligibility criteria.

Health Outcomes to be Measured

Rate of herpes zoster; rate of post-herpetic neuralgia; healthcare resources utilised; number of individuals who have lost eligibility for herpes zoster vaccination; national preventable disease burden.


Ian Matthews - Chief Investigator - Merck Sharp & Dohme - UK
Vicky Parsons - Corresponding Applicant - OXON Epidemiology - Spain
Ana Filipa Macedo - Collaborator - OXON Epidemiology - Spain
Bayad Nozad - Collaborator - Merck Sharp & Dohme - UK
Boriana Guimicheva - Collaborator - Merck Sharp & Dohme - UK
Mai Duong - Collaborator - Evidera, Inc
Rosie Barnett - Collaborator - OXON Epidemiology - Spain
Sophie Wilding - Collaborator - Merck Sharp & Dohme - UK
Trusha Patel - Collaborator - Merck Sharp & Dohme - UK
Yash Patel - Collaborator - Merck Sharp & Dohme - UK


2011 Rural-Urban Classification at LSOA level;HES Admitted Patient Care;HES Outpatient;Patient Level Townsend Score