WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Having shingles at an early age brings fear of reoccurance, but now there may be an additional concern.
New data shows having shingles before the age of 40 can lead to serious complications later on. Those young adults are 74 percent more likely to have a stroke in the future.
They also have a 50 percent higher chance of experiencing a heart attack.
The same virus that causes chicken pox can reactivate many years later and become shingles. But other factors can cause that virus to become active much sooner.
Reza Ghorbani, M.D. of the Advanced Pain Medicine Institute in Chevy Chase says, "It could be due to other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or blood pressure that it's not full blown but it is a symptom in bringing the shingles up to life."
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful and contagious rash. There is a vaccine available for adults over 50 years of age.