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What increases my risk for shingles?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

The biggest risk factor for shingles is having had chickenpox. Since shingles is caused by the reactivation of the virus that's left in your body after chickenpox, anyone who's had chickenpox may develop shingles later in life. Being older also increases your risk for shingles - although people of any age can develop shingles, it's most common among people older than 50. If you have a weakened immune system for any reason, such as AIDS, cancer, or immunosuppressant drugs, you may be at an increased risk for developing shingles.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.