Understanding the effect of herpes zoster and zoster-related pain should inform care to improve health-related quality of life in elderly patients. A 12-month, longitudinal, prospective, multicenter observational study conducted in primary care in France enrolled patients aged ≥ 50 years with acute eruptive herpes zoster. Patient-reported zoster-related pain was assessed by validated questionnaires (Douleur Neuropathique en 4 Questions [DN4], Zoster Brief Pain Inventory [ZBPI], and Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory [NPSI]) on days 0 and 15, and at months 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12. Health-related quality of life was assessed by the 12-item short-form health survey (SF-12) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale on day 0 and at months 3, 6, and 12. Of 1358 patients included, 1032 completed follow-up. Mean ± standard deviation age was 67.7 ± 10.7 (range, 50-95) years; 62.2% were women. Most patients (94.1%) were prescribed antiviral drugs. The prevalence of zoster-related pain on day 0 and at months 3, 6, 9, and 12 was 79.6%, 11.6%, 8.5%, 7.4%, and 6.0%, respectively. Patients with persistent pain had lower scores on the physical and mental component summaries of the SF-12 and the ZBPI interference score than those without pain. By logistic regression analysis, main predictive factors on day 0 for postherpetic neuralgia at month 3 were age, male sex, ZBPI interference score, Physical Component Summary score of the SF-12, and neuropathic quality of pain (DN4 score ≥ 4). Despite early diagnosis and treatment with antiviral agents, many patients with herpes zoster experience persistent pain and marked long-term reduction in health-related quality of life.
Copyright © 2011 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.