Strong Associations Between Inflammation, Pruritus and Mental Health in Dialysis Patients
Severin Schricker, Thorsten Heider, Moritz Schanz, Jürgen Dippon, Mark Dominik Alscher, Heinz Weiss, Thomas Mettang, Martin Kimmel
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Pruritus, impaired mental health and inflammation contribute to morbidity in end-stage renal disease. There are no studies on all 3 conditions. We therefore obtained inflammatory parameter data (C-reactive protein and interleukin-6), pruritus data and psychological test data (36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, “Allgemeine Depressionsskala” and Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20) for 19 dialysis patients with pruritus, 20 dialysis patients without pruritus and 15 healthy controls. Non-parametric hierarchical clustering revealed 3 clusters of parameters: one mainly driven by pruritus scores (chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus cluster), one by mental health scores (mental health cluster) and one by inflammatory parameters (inflammatory cluster). Factor analysis showed strong associations (mental health cluster/chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus cluster, r=–0.49; mental health cluster/inflammatory cluster, r=–0.52; inflammatory cluster/chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus cluster, r=0.48). For the first time, complete correlations between inflammation, mental health and pruritus in dialysis patients have been established. As all 3 conditions are associated with mortality, knowledge about their interdependence helps to understand end-stage renal disease pathophysiology.