Prevalence and Correlates of Restless Legs Syndrome: Recommendation

Prevalence and Correlates of Restless Legs Syndrome: RecommendationThe findings of the NSF 2005 poll in comparison to the REST study highlight the importance of frequency criteria. If RLS risk is defined to include a requirement for symptoms every night or almost every night, as well as for symptoms being worse at night, the prevalence is lower. Most clinical definitions of RLS do not have specific frequency criteria, which has probably contributed to some variance in prevalence estimates. This may also be part of the reason that RLS has been diagnosed and treated in far < 10% of the population, as it is likely that many physicians and patients are unwilling to undertake long-term treatment for symptoms that are not frequent.
The REST study included 6,014 US participants, but information about regional variation in symptoms is not included in the report. Although the REST study included some information about quality of life based on the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form, most participants did not complete this part of the survey; the REST investigators were not able to extensively correlate RLS symptoms with health or lifestyle. canadian family pharmacy

The endorsement of twitching or frequent body movements in the current study was so frequent as to render it a nonspecific finding. We cannot draw any conclusions based on this reported symptom in this study, other than to suggest that asking about body twitching may not be useful in the clinical evaluation of patients.
This NSF survey confirmed the 10% prevalence of RLS that has been frequently reported in the literature, using a definition that requires uncomfortable leg sensations a few nights a week or more that are worse at night. These findings confirm that RLS symptoms are associated with impaired daytime function, with sleep apnea and other sleep complaints, and with unhealthy lifestyles. Identifying and treating RLS may improve sleep quality and daytime function.

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