[Prevalence of chronic pruritus in patients of a tertiary care hospital].

Revista medica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social

PubMedID: 24758860

Guerrero-Ramos B, Hernández-Salazar A, Villaseñor-Ovies P, Tinoco-Fragoso F, Esquivel-Pedraza L, Domínguez-Cherit J. [Prevalence of chronic pruritus in patients of a tertiary care hospital]. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2014;52(2):198-203.
Chronic pruritus is occasionally intractable; it has different etiologies and affects life quality. Our objective was to describe the prevalence of pruritus in newly-arrived patients at the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición "Salvador Zubirán".

A cross-sectional study was developed in newly-arrived patients. We conducted previous surveys in order to identify those patients with pruritus. With a second survey we inquired their sociodemographic traits, comorbidities, drugs being administered, the characteristics of pruritus, and the impact on the patient's quality of life.

Of 554 previous surveys, we identified 70 cases of chronic pruritus. Most of the cases were women in their middle ages (42 years). According to the classification of pruritus, 67.2 % was associated to the underlying disease, 14.8 % was related to dermatologic condition, 3.3 % to pharmacological effects, 4.9 % to other conditions, and 9.8 % was idiopathic. Life quality was not affected in 7 %, was minimally affected in 28 %, and was mild to severe in 26 %.

Chronic pruritus was highly prevalent in the Institute. It was mainly associated with the underlying disease, and affected significantly the quality of life. More studies are needed for better understanding its pathophisiology. Furthermore, new treatments will be available to control pruritus, bringing a better quality to those affected patients.