Prevalence and Correlates of Restless Legs Syndrome

Prevalence and Correlates of Restless Legs SyndromeRestless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common, debilitating condition. The prevalence of RLS is estimated to be about 10% and increases with age. Women appear to be at increased risk, as do individuals with certain chronic conditions, including renal failure and anemia. The pathophysiology of RLS is incompletely understood, but it probably results from derangements in dopamine and iron metabolism, and has a genetic component.’’ It appears likely that a majority of individuals with RLS do not seek or receive medical attention. Because RLS is a prevalent sleep disorder, it is likely to be encountered by pulmonologists who are practicing sleep medicine. ventolin inhalers

The diagnosis of RLS is based on clinical grounds and requires an uncomfortable urge to move the legs that is worse with activity, is relieved by inactivity, and is worse at night. Supporting evidence for the diagnosis includes a response to dopaminergic agents, a family history of the disorder, and periodic limb movements (PLMs). PLMs are repetitive, highly stereotypical movements occurring during sleep that are frequently associated with RLS. However, the significance of PLMs is very controversial; PLMs are very prevalent and nonspecific, and are not necessary or sufficient to make the diagnosis of RLS. The aims of this analysis were to report the prevalence and correlates of symptoms of RLS in the 2005 National Sleep Foundation (NSF) poll. Data pertaining to the prevalence of RLS in this report are from the 2005 NSF annual Sleep in America poll. The NSF is an independent nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving an understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting education, sleep-related research, and advocacy (www.sleepfoundation.org). Established in 1990, the NSF relies on voluntary contributions as well as grants from foundations, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations to support its programs.

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