Uremic pruritus: prevalence, determinants, and its impact on health-related quality of life and sleep in Indian patients undergoing hemodialysis

Deeksha Shetty, Ajith M. Nayak, Divya Datta, Mohan V. Bhojaraja, Shankar Prasad Nagaraju, Attur Ravindra Prabhu, Dharshan Rangaswamy, Indu Ramachandra Rao, Srinivas Vinayak Shenoy, Dhruv Joshi

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Background: Uremic pruritus has an impact on the quality of life and sleep of hemodialysis patients, but the majority of cases go unreported and untreated unless severe, due to a lack of awareness. The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence, associated factors, and impact on health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) and sleep in hemodialysis patients. Methodology: A single-center observational study of 3 months wherein 120 adults on maintenance hemodialysis were included. Baseline characteristics, dialysis-related factors, and lab parameters influencing uremic pruritus were recorded. Those with uremic pruritus completed “12-item pruritus severity scale (12-PSS)”, “SKINDEX10”, and “Itch-MOS” questionnaires to evaluate severity, impact on HR-QOL, and sleep respectively. Results: Sixty seven over one hundred twenty (55.83%) patients had pruritus and majority were mild (40.83%) as per 12-PSS. Those with pruritus (n=67) had a mean age of 56.5±11.3 years, most were males (82%), chronic glomerulonephritis (29.1%) was the commonest cause of end-stage kidney disease, 3 active smokers, and 4 seropositive. 65(97%) patients were on twice-weekly dialysis, 36/67 had <5 years’ dialysis vintage and acceptable adequacy. There was no significant association between uremic pruritus and dialysis-related/laboratory parameters. Patients with uremic pruritus demonstrated significantly worse “HR-QOL” (p<0.001) on the “SKINDEX-10”, and patients' “Itch-MOS” scores demonstrated a significant decline in sleep quality with increasing pruritus severity (p<0.001). Conclusion: The majority of patients on maintenance hemodialysis experience uremic pruritus. None of the clinical characteristics, dialysis-related factors, and laboratory parameters affected uremic pruritus. Uremic pruritus patients had the worst HR-QOL & their sleep quality significantly declined as pruritus severity escalated. Trial registration number and date of registration: Study approval was obtained from Institutional Research Committee and Institutional Ethical Committee (IEC 642/2021). Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI) registration (CTRI/2022/01/039143) was also obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3109-3115
Number of pages7
JournalIrish Journal of Medical Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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