Dallas, TX (PRWEB) October 23, 2013
Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN) is one of the most common complications of herpes zoster infection in elderly persons ages 60 years and older, worldwide. The main symptom of PHN is severe pain and allodynia (pain that results from a non-injurious stimulus to the skin). PHN is associated with a significant loss of activity levels and a reduced quality of life, particularly in the elderly. The strongest established risk factor for PHN is advancing age. Other possible risk factors for PHN include severity of acute herpes zoster pain, extent of rash, and duration of prodromal pain.
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The number of incident cases of PHN in the 7MM will increase by 20.22% over the next decade, from 241,808 cases in 2012, to 290,694 cases in 2022. Age- and sex-specific incidence data for PHN and herpes zoster, as well as data for the proportion of herpes zoster patients developing PHN in the 7MM, were obtained or calculated from nationally-representative studies in each country to forecast the incident cases of PHN. To maintain a uniform methodology across the markets, GlobalData epidemiologists only used studies that defined PHN as pain persistent for three or more months.
Currently, there is no absolute preventative therapy for PHN. However, a vaccine is available to help prevent a herpes zoster infection; in turn, this vaccine helps reduce the incidence of PHN to an extent because PHN is the sequela of herpes zoster. The considerable increase in the aging population worldwide, coupled with the high risk for developing PHN in elderly herpes zoster patients are expected to impose a considerable burden on healthcare in the 7MM in future years.
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