Background: It is well known that the quality of life of haemodialysis recipients is often severely compromised. So far, the influence of sleep-related breathing disorders on the quality of life of patients receiving maintenance dialysis has not been evaluated.
Methods: Quality of life as assessed by the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) and the Nottingham Health Profile Part 1 (NHP1) was determined in 33 patients (20 males, 13 females; median age 66 years (95% CI 22-82)) with end-stage renal disease treated with haemodialysis. Additionally, polygraphy with a validated eight-channel ambulatory recording unit was performed.
Results: Twenty-one patients (63.6%) had a clinically significant sleep-related breathing disorder with a median apnoea/hypopnoea index of 13.3 (6.3-78.1)/h and a median oxygen saturation during sleep of 92.5 (88-97)%. In three out of eight subjective measures of the SF-36 (vitality, social functioning and mental health) and in one out of six subjective measures of the NHP1 (emotional reactions), patients without sleep-related breathing disorders had a higher quality of life than patients with this disorder (P<0.05 each). Furthermore, the severity of the sleep-related breathing disorder as indicated by the apnoea/hypopnoea index significantly correlated with the following quality of life measures: physical functioning, social functioning, role limitation due to physical and emotional problems, general health and vitality (SF-36), and also with pain, sleep, social isolation and emotional reactions (NHP1) (P<0.05 each).
Conclusions: We conclude that sleep-related breathing disorders independently influence the quality of life of patients receiving maintenance dialysis.