Cancer and risk of herpes zoster - case-control study in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink

Date of Approval
Application Number
16_113
Technical Summary

The objective of the study is to investigate the association between having had a cancer diagnosis and future risk of herpes zoster (also known as shingles). The two diseases could plausibly be associated because both have associations with immune function, which may be further affected by cancer treatments. Recent US data suggested a substantial increase in zoster risk among people with a previous cancer diagnosis. Our aim is to investigate this further by looking at how "any cancer" and common site-specific cancers (breast, colorectal, lung, prostate) are associated with future zoster risk, adjusting for potential confounders. We will conduct a matched case-control study: all individuals with an incident zoster diagnosis will be identified and matched on age, sex and GP practice to people who are under follow-up in CPRD at the same time but have no history of zoster. Conditional logistic regression models will be used to examine associations between cancer and zoster, both unadjusted, and adjusted for a range of potential confounders. The temporal relationship between cancer and zoster will also be examined by categorising the time between cancer diagnosis and index date. The results will be of interest to people with a history of cancer, and may help to inform zoster vaccination policy.

Health Outcomes to be Measured

All cancers and the following site-specific cancers: breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer.

Collaborators

Krishnan Bhaskaran - Chief Investigator - London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine ( LSHTM )
Krishnan Bhaskaran - Corresponding Applicant - London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine ( LSHTM )
Harriet Forbes - Collaborator - London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine ( LSHTM )
Liam Smeeth - Collaborator - London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine ( LSHTM )
Sinead Langan - Collaborator - London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine ( LSHTM )