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Archives of Dermatology

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 145  |  Issue: 12  |  Page No.: 1384 - 1388

Association Between Frequency of Pruritic Symptoms and Perceived Psychological Stress: A Japanese Population-Based Study

Y Yamamoto, S Yamazaki, Y Hayashino, O Takahashi, Y Tokuda, T Shimbo, T Fukui, S Hinohara, Y Miyachi and S. Fukuhara

Abstract

Objective  To evaluate the relationship between frequency of pruritic symptoms experienced over a 1-month period and psychological stress.

Design  Cohort study.

Setting  Population-based study in Japan.

Participants  A total of 2224 participants at least 18 years old and without psychiatric disorders participated in the Japan Health Diary Study (October 2003), a cohort study comprising a representative sample in Japan.

Main Outcome Measures  Frequency of pruritic symptoms assessed by self-reported health diaries over the 1-month period and subsequent psychological stress measured using the Japanese version of the Perceived Stress Scale.

Results  The 2224 participants had a mean age of 44.6 years, 1212 (54.5%) were women, and 70 (3.1%) presented with pruritic symptoms. Multivariable analysis showed that patients with pruritic symptoms had significantly higher psychological stress than those without pruritic symptoms (β coefficient, 2.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53-4.14; P = .01). Furthermore, a linear trend was observed between increased psychological stress and increased severity of pruritic symptoms, with β coefficients for the first, second, and third tertiles for symptoms of 0.81 (95% CI, –1.97 to 3.59), 1.77 (95% CI, –0.82 to 4.37), and 4.86 (95% CI, 1.29 to 8.43), respectively (P value for trend, .004).

Conclusion  Our results suggest that frequency of pruritic symptoms is associated with psychological stress in the general population.

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