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Chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus significantly impacts on quality of life of patients on haemodialysis and associates with increased levels of serum calcium and phosphorus


Purpose of the study Chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) is common among patients on maintenance haemodialysis (HD). We performed a study to explore the clinical features of patients with CKD-aP and evaluate the impact of CKD-aP on the quality of life of HD patients.

Study design Patients who were receiving regular HD over 3 months were recruited. Quality of life was quantified by the Short Form-12 (SF-12) questionnaire. Pruritus was evaluated by the 5D-Itch Scale. Demographic characteristics and biochemical indicators were obtained from the medical record system. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the association between pruritus and targeting factors. The relationship between the scores on the 5D-Itch Scale and SF-12 was analysed using multiple linear regression, adjusted for other factors, to demonstrate the impact of CKD-aP on the quality of life of HD patients.

Results In total, 269 out of 301 (89.4%) patients accomplished all investigations. The prevalence of CKD-aP in our cohort was 40.9%. Age (B=0.339, p=0.042), treatment with haemoperfusion (B=1.853, p=0.018), and serum level of calcium (B=3.566, p=0.008) and phosphorus (B=1.543, p=0.002) were independently associated with pruritus. Score on the 5D-Itch Scale negatively impacted on physical component summary (B=−0.778, p<0.001) and mental component summary (B=−0.675, p<0.001).

Conclusions Pruritus significantly aggravates the quality of life of HD patients. Irregularity in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus may partially explain the mechanism of CKD-aP. More effective treatment of CKD-MBD may help to prevent pruritus and improve patients’ mental and physical health conditions.

  • dialysis
  • end stage renal failure
  • health services administration & management

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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