Chronic Insomnia in Kidney Transplant Recipients
Recent studies confirmed that sleep disorders have a significant impact on various aspects of health in patients at different stages of chronic kidney disease. At the same time, there is an almost complete lack of information on the prevalence and correlates of insomnia in kidney transplant recipients.
In a cross-sectional study, the Athens Insomnia Scale was used to assess the prevalence of insomnia in a large sample of kidney transplant recipients compared with wait-listed dialysis patients and also a matched group obtained from a nationally representative sample of the Hungarian population.
The prevalence of insomnia was 15% in wait-listed patients, whereas it was only 8% in transplant recipients (P < 0.001), which, in turn, was not different from the prevalence of this sleep problem in the sample of the general population (8%). Prevalences of insomnia in the transplant group were 5%, 7%, and 14% for the groups with glomerular filtration rates (GFRs) greater than 60 mL/min (> 1.00 mL/s), 30 to 60 mL/min (0.50 to 1.00 mL/s), and less than 30 mL/min (< 0.5 mL/s), respectively (P < 0.01). However, estimated GFR was no longer associated significantly with insomnia in the transplant population after statistical adjustment for several covariates. In a multivariate model, insomnia was significantly and independently associated with treatment modality (transplantation versus wait listing), as well as the presence of depression, restless legs syndrome, and high risk for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, and with self-reported comorbidity.
The prevalence of insomnia was substantially less in the transplant group than in wait-listed dialysis patients and similar to that observed in the general population. Because this condition potentially is treatable, attention should be directed to the appropriate diagnosis and management of insomnia in the kidney transplant recipient population.
Available from: Thomas Fehr
- "Most cross-sectional studies suggest that poor SQ is higher pre-RTx (49%-78% [3,9,10]) than post-RTx (30%-52% [1,11]). Similarly, insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up before the desired time and being left tired during the day) in RTx candidates  has a prevalence of 15% in patients on maintenance dialysis, compared to 8% post-RTx . Post-RTx SQ remains constant . "
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ABSTRACT: Poor sleep quality (SQ) and daytime sleepiness (DS) are common in renal transplant (RTx) recipients; however, related data are rare. This study describes the prevalence and frequency of self-reported sleep disturbances in RTx recipients.
This cross-sectional study included 249 RTx recipients transplanted at three Swiss transplant centers. All had reported poor SQ and / or DS in a previous study. With the Survey of Sleep (SOS) self-report questionnaire, we screened for sleep and health habits, sleep history, main sleep problems and sleep-related disturbances. To determine a basis for preliminary sleep diagnoses according to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD), 164 subjects were interviewed (48 in person, 116 via telephone and 85 refused). Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data and to determine the frequencies and prevalences of specific sleep disorders.
The sample had a mean age of 59.1 +/- 11.6 years (60.2% male); mean time since Tx was 11.1 +/- 7.0 years. The most frequent sleep problem was difficulty staying asleep (49.4%), followed by problems falling asleep (32.1%). The most prevalent sleep disturbance was the need to urinate (62.9%), and 27% reported reduced daytime functionality. Interview data showed that most suffered from the first ICSD category: insomnias.
Though often disregarded in RTx recipients, sleep is an essential factor of wellbeing. Our findings show high prevalences and incidences of insomnias, with negative impacts on daytime functionality. This indicates a need for further research on the clinical consequences of sleep disturbances and the benefits of insomnia treatment in RTx recipients.
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ABSTRACT: Sleep complaints are very common in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and contribute to their impaired quality of life. Both obstructive and central sleep apnea syndromes are reported more often in patients on dialysis than in the general population. Impaired daytime functioning, sleepiness, and fatigue, as well as cognitive problems, are well known in patients with sleep apnea. Increasing evidence supports the pathophysiological role of sleep apnea in cardiovascular disorders, which are the leading cause of death in ESRD patients. Uremic factors may be involved in the pathogenesis of sleep apnea in this patient population and optimal dialysis may reduce disease severity. Furthermore, treatment with continuous positive airway pressure may improve quality of life and may help to manage hypertension in these patients. Secondary restless legs syndrome is highly prevalent in patients on maintenance dialysis. The pathophysiology of the disorder may also involve uremia-related factors, iron deficiency, and anemia, but genetic and lifestyle factors might also play a role. The treatment of restless legs syndrome involves various pharmacologic approaches and might be challenging in severe cases. In this article we review the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, with a focus on dialysis patients. We also briefly review current data regarding sleep problems after transplantation, since these studies may indirectly shed light on the possible pathophysiological role of uremia or dialysis in the etiology of sleep disorders. Considering the importance of sleep disorders, more awareness among professionals involved in the care of patients on dialysis is necessary. Appropriate management of sleep disorders could improve the quality of life and possibly even impact upon survival of renal patients.
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