Pruritus and pain similarly lower quality of life

CHRONIC pruritus diminishes quality of life similarly to chronic pain, suggesting new therapies and support groups are needed to help patients, researchers say.

In a cross-sectional study of 73 patients with chronic pruritus and 138 patients with chronic pain – with an average duration of symptoms from six months to one year – around half of the patients characterised their symptoms as moderate. More patients in the pain group said they had severe symptoms (36% vs 28%).

Analysing a measure of health utility, researchers found the pruritus group had a mean score of 0.87, indicating they were willing to forfeit 13% of life expectancy to live without the affliction, whereas the patients with pain had a mean score of 0.77.

“Overall, our data support previously published results indicating that patients with chronic pruritus carry a significant burden of disease,” the US authors said.

“Our results also highlight