Factors associated with uremic pruritus
Background: The etiopathogenesis of uremic pruritus (UP) is multifactorial aspect, and it is thus necessary to elucidate its associated factors to develop efficient therapeutics approaches. This study aimed to verify the prevalence of UP and its associated factors.
Methods and Findings: Prospective and cross-sectional study with patients undergoing hemodialysis at a university public hospital. The data were obtained between April 2014 and April 2015. The statistical analysis was carried out using multivariate regression models, and statistical significance was set at p<0.05. A total of 164 patients were included, and pruritus was reported in 64 (39%). In the multivariate analysis, a higher creatinine level was risk factor for pruritus (β=1.09, 95% CI 1.00-1.19; p=0.048), as was a lower level of hemoglobin (β=0.85, 95% CI 0.73-0.99; p=0.043). Dyslipidemia (β=1.52, 95% CI 0.12-2.91; p=0.03), obesity (β=2.40, 95% CI 1.03-3.78; p=0.001), higher levels of C-reactive protein (β=0.26, 95% CI 0.19-0.34; p<0.001) and black race (β=1.49, 95% CI -2.57 and 0.42; p<0.006) were associated with a greater intensity of pruritus. The use of a high-flux dialyzer was associated with a lower intensity of pruritus (β=-1.69, 95% CI -3.05-0.34; p=0.01).
Conclusion: Uremic pruritus has a high prevalence in hemodialysis patients, and the data suggest that the higher the creatinine and the lower the hemoglobin levels are, the greater the risk of developing pruritus is. Dyslipidemia, obesity, and higher levels of C-reactive protein were associated with a greater intensity of pruritus, whereas the use of a high-flux dialyzer was associated with lower pruritus intensity.
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