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Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2001 Apr;128(4):497-501.

[Herpes zoster: incidence study among "sentinel" general practitioners].

[Article in French]

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Unité d Biostatisique et Informatique Médicale, Hôpital Tenon, Paris, France.



Herpes zoster is a frequent disease but its incidence in France is unknown.


We conducted a postal survey among the general practitioners of the "Sentinel" network. The incidence of acute herpes zoster was extrapolated from the number of cases diagnosed during the year 1998, by the general practitioners who answered the questionnaire. The general practitioners were also surveyed on their prescriptions and attitude.


Among the 1,368 "Sentinel" general practitioners, 744 (54.4 p. 100) participated in the survey. The incidence in 1998 was 3.2 cases for 1,000 inhabitants (95 p. 100 confidence interval: 3.0 - 3.4). For acute herpes zoster, 73 p. 100 of the patients have been given an oral antiviral drug, and 63 p. 100 an antalgic. Among the 605 reported herpes zoster cases, 111 (18.4 p. 100) subsequently had chronic pain.


The estimated incidence is comparable to the incidence from others developed countries. To be interpreted, this estimation has to be discussed according to the sample of population that was studied and the representativity of the "Sentinelles" general practitioners who participated the survey.

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