Prevalence and Correlates of Restless Legs Syndrome: Analysis of NSF Poll

Prevalence and Correlates of Restless Legs Syndrome: Analysis of NSF PollStatistical analyses included x2 tests of associations for age and sex group differences in the percentage for each sleep problem. Those who endorsed symptoms of uncomfortable leg sensations every night, almost every night, or a few nights a week or more and who reported that these symptoms were worse at night were designated as being “at risk for RLS.” Stepwise multiple logistic regression models were used to predict the odds for each sleep problem according to significantly associated medical conditions after adjusting for age, gender, and an existing diagnosis of a sleep disorder. A multidimensional multiple logistic regression for the odds of reporting one or more sleep problems was derived from the various indexes for diseases, health, and behavioral characteristics. Analyses were performed with a statistical software package (SAS; SAS Institute; Cary, NC). read

In the total poll sample, a similar number of women (n = 775) and men (n = 731) were interviewed, and their mean age was 49 years. Sixty-two percent were married, 33% were single, and 5% were living with someone (“partnered”). Consistent with the US population, 36% lived in the south, 21% in the west, 24% in the midwest, and 19% in the northeast; 84% were white/white and 16% were minorities; and 52% were employed full-time and, of those, 80% worked regular day shifts.
Fifteen percent of respondents reported an uncomfortable urge to move their legs a few nights a week, and 8% reported these sensations every night or almost every night. Of those reporting having the sensations at least a few nights a week, 65% reported that the feelings were worse at night. Thus, 9.7% of individuals in this poll satisfied the criteria for RLS that have been used in previous population-based surveys. Of these individuals, 8% were men and 11% were women. Of those who met the more stringent criteria of reporting the leg sensations every night or almost every night, and whose sensations were worse at night, 5% were men and 6% were women.

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