Serge Jabbour, MD: Incidence and Impact of Herpes Zoster in T2DM Patients

June 16, 2020

Discussing an analysis of retrospective claims data to examine the incidence of herpes zoster in patients with T2DM and how it impacts their diabetes.

A new retrospective analysis of claims data is shining new light on the incidence and impact of herpes zoster in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Results of the study suggest patients with T2DM have a 1.68-times greater risk of having a herpes zoster episode compared to those without and T2DM patients with herpes zoster saw an increase in severity of disease complications.


“We decided to look at cohorts to see what is the real incidence of herpes zoster in people who have diabetes compared to nondiabetics and to look at the impact of herpes zoster on diabetes, itself,” said lead investigator Serge Jabbour, MD, professor of medicine at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, who presented the study at the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 80th Scientific Sessions.

Using IBM MarketScan databases, investigators searched for information related to patients with commercial insurance or Medicare from 2013-2018 and those with Medicaid from 2013-2017. With this information, investigators created 3 cohorts to examine patients with herpes zoster and T2DM, those with T2DM but not herpes zoster, and those with herpes zoster but not T2DM to thoroughly evaluate the impact of herpes zoster in diabetics.

Of note, cohort 1 was matched independently to cohort 2 and cohort 3 by direct coverage matching.

Upon analysis, the overall crude rate incidence of herpes zoster in patients with T2DM was 1.01% compared to .05% among patients without T2DM. After adjustment for age, gender, and payer type, investigators determined patients with T2DM were at a 1.68-times (95% CI, 1.67-1.70) greater risk of having herpes zoster.

Additionally, results of the study indicated patients with preexisting T2DM who had herpes zoster experienced increases in Diabetes complications severity index score and Charlson Comorbidity Index score (P <.05).

To learn more about the incidence of herpes zoster in diabetics and the impact on disease course, HCPLive® reached out to Jabbour to take place in a special edition ADA 2020 House Call.

This study, “Incidence of Herpes Zoster in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Consequences for Treatment,” was presented at ADA 2020.