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Depression can affect shingles vaccine.

A recent study found a possible link between untreated depression in older adults and decreased effectiveness of the herpes zoster, or shingles, vaccine.

Published Feb. 14 in Clinical Infectious Diseases, the study measured the immune response to shingles vaccine in 40 people ages 60 or older with a major depressive disorder and compared the results to similar levels in 52 control patients. Researchers took measurements at baseline, six weeks, one year and two years after the patients received the shingles vaccine or a placebo.

Depressed patients not receiving treatment with antidepressants had lower immunity to the varicellazoster virus and were less able to respond to the shingles vaccine than non-depressed patients or depressed patients who were taking antidepressant medication.

Researchers called for larger studies to evaluate the possible relationship between untreated depression and the risk of shingles as well as to find out what mechanisms are responsible for patients' reduced immune response.
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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Apr 1, 2013
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