New shingles vaccine offers hope for those 50+.

(Taken from an article in Aging Well Magazine)

Did you know nearly 1 million cases of shingles are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

Summer 2011 Cover

 “The incidence of shingles has increased sixfold over the last 50 years. And truthfully, we’re not sure why…Shingles rates for those aged 50 and older have increased too” – Barbara Yawn, MD, director of research at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minn. 

In a study published earlier this year in The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers analyzed more than 300,000 vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and found the vaccine was associated with a 55% reduction in shingles incidence.

Despite the devastation the disease causes, only 6.7% of adults over the age of 60 were immunized.

The FDA has now approved Zostavax, a live attenuated virus vaccine for shingles, for use in patients between the ages of 50 and 59; it had previously been approved only for patients aged 60 and older.

Read more about the vaccine and how it can help here:

http://www.agingwellmag.com/archive/summer2011_p30.shtml

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About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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