Sleep disorders and illness intrusiveness in patients on chronic dialysis.

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Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 2004 7 19 pages: 1815-22

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of sleep problems (insomnia, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movements in sleep and sleep apnoea) has been shown to be high in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and might contribute to impaired quality of life in this population. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study using self-administered questionnaires, we examined the prevalence of sleep disorders and assessed their effect on different aspects of health-related quality of life in a sample of Hungarian patients on maintenance dialysis. RESULTS: Our data confirm that sleep problems are frequent in patients with ESRD; 65% of the patients reported symptoms of at least one specific sleep disorder; insomnia was the most common sleep complaint with 49%, the prevalence of sleep apnoea was 32% and the prevalence of restless legs syndrome was 15%. Co-morbidity, assessed by the End-Stage Renal Disease Severity Index, was shown to be an independent predictor of sleep disorders. Patients with sleep disorders reported higher illness intrusiveness and worse self-perceived health than those without sleep problems. The presence of sleep disorders was an independent predictor of illness intrusiveness, an important determinant of health-related quality of life. CONCLUSION: Sleep disorders are important determinants of illness intrusiveness and health-related quality of life in patients with ESRD. Sleep problems may be treated successfully; therefore, more attention should be paid to assessing these problems in this patient population.
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