Health-Related QOL and Economic Burden of Chronic Pruritus

Katherine A. Whang, Raveena Khanna, Kyle A. Williams, Varun Mahadevan, Yevgeniy Semenov, Shawn G. Kwatra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Chronic pruritus (CP) has considerable implications for QOL. However, its impact on health-related QOL and economic burden is not fully characterized. We administered a cross-sectional survey on 132 patients with CP using the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 instrument. Normative data from healthy adults (n = 4,187) were obtained from the Joint Canada/US Survey of Health. Quality-adjusted life-year loss and economic costs were estimated on the basis of Health Utilities Index Mark 3 scores of patients with CP versus controls. Patients with CP had lower overall health performance than the control (0.56 ± 0.03 vs. 0.86 ± 0.003, P < 0.001). In multivariable regression, CP was associated with worse overall health performance (coefficient = −0.30, 95% confidence interval = −0.33 to −0.27), most accentuated in the domains of pain (coefficient = −0.24, confidence interval = −0.28 to −0.21) and emotion (coefficient = −0.11, confidence interval = −0.13 to −0.10). The reduced Health Utilities Index Mark 3 score correlated with 5.5 average lifetime quality-adjusted life-years lost per patient. Using conservative estimates for willingness to pay, the quality-adjusted life-year loss translated to an individual lifetime economic burden of $274,921 and a societal burden of $88.8 billion. CP is associated with significant QOL impairment. The economic burden of CP highlights the necessity for further research into management options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-760.e1
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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