What is the prognosis of postherpetic neuralgia?
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Postherpetic neuralgia occurs rarely among patients aged <50 years with herpes zoster. The incidence, duration, and severity of post-herpetic neuralgia increases with age, but older patients usually have only mild pain. Most cases resolve spontaneously within 3 months. Even in the highest-risk group, people aged >70 years, 25% had some pain at 3 months, but only 10% had pain at 1 year, and none had severe pain. Only a few patients have pain that persists for years (strength of recommendation: A, based on a well-done prospective cohort study).