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Shingles May Raise Your Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, New Study Finds

South Korean researchers analyzing a national database of people who had undergone medical checkups have determined that having shingles may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, Today reports. The news magazine also noted this may be an impetus for more people to get the shingles vaccine. The president of the American College of Cardiology, however, wasn’t so quick to directly connect shingles to heart disease, as there is an increase in cardiovascular events with any kind of major health issue, including shingles.

The number of ways that news agencies and health authorities team up to create false fears to push vaccines never ceases to amaze me. Here, you have nothing more than an overview of medical cases with a generalized conclusion that if you get shingles, you’re more likely to have heart disease — a far cry from the “gold standard” of medical research, which is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study — and what they conclude is get vaccinated.

At least we have a glimmer of balance in this news report, with the cardiologist’s comments that heart disease can happen with any major health issue. But still, the take-home message is get vaccinated, which is absolutely misleading. The real way to good heart health is to first look at the real cause of heart attacks, such as stress, diabetes, high blood pressure and other factors.

Then, by adopting healthy lifestyle habits that address physical, emotional and stressful issues, you can pave your own way to heart health without a single vaccine. Specifically, five lifestyle changes that could prevent 80 percent of heart attacks are maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active, achieving and keeping a healthy waist circumference, not smoking and staying away from secondhand smoke, and moderate consumption of alcohol.
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