University of Oulu

Sinikumpu, S.-P., Jokelainen, J., Tasanen, K., Timonen, M. ., & Huilaja, L. (2023). Association between Pruritus and Psychosocial Well-being: A Population-based Study among 6,809 Subjects. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 103, adv00837.

Association between pruritus and psychosocial well-being : a population-based study among 6,809 subjects

Saved in:
Author: Sinikumpu, Suvi-Päivikki1; Jokelainen, Jari2; Tasanen, Kaisa1;
Organizations: 1Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Oulu, Oulu, Finland and Medical Research Center, PEDEGO Research Group, University of Oulu
2Northern Finland Birth Cohorts, Arctic Biobank, Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Society for Publication of Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-18


Pruritus has an extensive impact on functional, social and psychosocial behaviour. The association between pruritus and psychological well-being has mostly been studied among selected patient groups, whereas population-based studies are lacking. The aim of this study was to determine the association between pruritus and insomnia, quality of life, depression and anxiety at the population level in the general population. A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted in 2012 to 2013. Study subjects (n = 6,809) belonging to the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study participated in a large follow-up study at the age of 45–47 years. They completed an extensive health questionnaire including questions on pruritus and several previously validated questionnaires regarding symptoms of psychosocial well-being. Pruritus affected 19.9% of the study subjects weekly, being more common in women than in men (p< 0.001). A significant association was found between both localized and generalized pruritus and symptoms of insomnia, depression, anxiety and decreased quality of life. The association was seen even in those with mild psychological symptoms/insomnia, and it affected both sexes. The severity of psychological symptoms increased with increasing frequency of pruritus. In conclusion, pruritus has a multiple effect on psychosocial well-being. Physicians should consider possible psychosocial symptoms in patients with pruritus.

see all

Series: Acta dermato-venereologica
ISSN: 0001-5555
ISSN-E: 1651-2057
ISSN-L: 0001-5555
Volume: 103
Article number: adv00837
DOI: 10.2340/actadv.v103.2922
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Medical Journals Sweden, on behalf of the Society for Publication of Acta Dermato-Venereologica. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (