The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of chronic disease and the risk factors for herpes zoster infection. In this case-control study medical records were collected from 55 patients who presented with herpes zoster and 54 patients in a control group who presented with gastroenterocolitis. Both groups were treated at the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, University Clinical Hospital Mostar from January, 2005 to December, 2010. When we compared the herpes zoster group with the control group, we did not demonstrate any significant difference in the overall prevalence of chronic diseases. However, the prevalence of diabetes and cancer was statistically higher when compared to the control group. A statistically significant difference in the number of cigarette smokers was not observed, whereas the number who consumed alcohol in the herpes zoster group was significantly higher compared to the control group. The correlation between alcohol and herpes zoster could help in solving the reactivation mechanism of VZV.