Tag Archives: rheumatoid arthritis and shingles

vitamin d deficiency

RA Research Briefs: Vitamin D, Shingles, Jobs

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. 

Vitamin D Deficiency Associ­ated with Neuropathic Pain

People with RA who suffer from neuro­pathic pain – or, understandably, are try­ing to avoid it – may do well to have their vitamin D levels checked. A study examined neuropathic pain indicators as well as blood samples of 93 patients with RA. The researchers found the prevalence of neuro­pathic pain was almost six times higher in patients with serum vitamin D levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) than in patients with vitamin D levels ≥ 30 ng/mL. Anything below 20 ng/mL is considered a deficiency.

SOURCE: International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, August 31, 2017

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Raises Shingles Risk

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have roughly twice the risk of healthy older adults of developing shingles, a virus related to chickenpox that causes pain and a blistering rash.

Most adults have been exposed to varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox. This virus is never completely cleared from our bodies, but lies quietly in spinal nerve cells. If it’s reactivated it causes shingles, explains rheumatologist Jeffrey Curtis, MD, professor medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The reactivated virus is called herpes zoster or shingles.

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