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Papers of the Week

2019 Nov 15




Hypovitaminosis Din Postherpetic Neuralgia-High Prevalence and Inverse Association with Pain: A Retrospective Study.


Chen J-Y, Lin Y-T, Wang L-K, Hung K-C, Lan K-M, Ho C-H, Chang C-Y
Nutrients. 2019 Nov 15; 11(11).
PMID: 31731694.


Hypovitaminosis D (25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) <75 nmol/L) is associated with neuropathic pain and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) immunity. A two-part retrospective hospital-based study was conducted. Part I (a case-control study): To investigate the prevalence and risk of hypovitaminosis D in postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) patients compared to those in gender/index-month/age-auto matched controls who underwent health examinations. Patients aged ≥50 years were automatically selected by ICD-9 codes for shingle/PHN. Charts were reviewed. Part II (a cross-sectional study): To determine associations between 25(OH)D, VZV IgG/M, pain and items in the DN4 questionnaire at the first pain clinic visit of patients. Independent predictors of PHN were presented as adjusted odds ratios(AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Prevalence (73.9%) of hypovitaminosis D in 88 patients was high. In conditional logistic regressions, independent predictors for PHN were hypovitaminosis D (AOR3.12, 95% CI1.73-5.61), malignancy (AOR3.21, 95% CI 1.38-7.48) and -related peptic ulcer disease (AOR3.47, 95% CI 1.71-7.03). 25(OH)D was inversely correlated to spontaneous/brush-evoked pain. Spontaneous pain was positively correlated to VZV IgM. Based on the receiver operator characteristic curve, cutoffs for 25(OH)D to predict spontaneous and brush-evoked pain were 67.0 and 169.0 nmol/L, respectively. A prospective, longitudinal study is needed to elucidate the findings.