Chronic fatigue associated with hepatitis C virus is associated with poor sleep quality and increased nocturnal activity, leading researchers to suggest that there may be an alteration of sleep architecture behind fatigue in HCV-associated encephalopathy.
Researchers said they conducted a study to characterize sleep disturbances in HCV-infected patients because more than 50% of patients with chronic HCV and mild liver disease have complaints of chronic fatigue, daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality. The small study included 25 women with HCV and 22 age-matched, healthy women. All women underwent actigraphy over 5 days to measure motor activity and sleep-wake rhythm and also completed questionnaires to gauge depression, quality of life, fatigue and sleeping habits.
Patients with HCV had higher scores for depression, fatigue and sleep disturbances and lower scores for quality of life compared with healthy controls. Actigraphy results showed higher nocturnal activity and worse sleep efficiency in the patients with HCV. However, the 24-hour activity level was not different between the two groups. The researchers observed that fatigue and quality of life scores correlated with daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality.
Source: Heeren M. J Hepatol. 2014