Epidemiology of restless legs syndrome: A synthesis of the literature

Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center, Stanford University, School of Medicine, 3430 West Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA.
Sleep Medicine Reviews (Impact Factor: 8.51). 07/2011; 16(4):283-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.smrv.2011.05.002
Source: PubMed


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) has gained considerable attention in the recent years: nearly 50 community-based studies have been published in the last decade around the world. The development of strict diagnostic criteria in 1995 and their revision in 2003 helped to stimulate research interest on this syndrome. In community-based surveys, RLS has been studied as: 1) a symptom only, 2) a set of symptoms meeting minimal diagnostic criteria of the international restless legs syndrome study group (IRLSSG), 3) meeting minimal criteria accompanied with a specific frequency and/or severity, and 4) a differential diagnosis. In the first case, prevalence estimates in the general adult population ranged from 9.4% to 15%. In the second case, prevalence ranged from 3.9% to 14.3%. When frequency/severity is added, prevalence ranged from 2.2% to 7.9% and when differential diagnosis is applied prevalence estimates are between 1.9% and 4.6%. In all instances, RLS prevalence is higher in women than in men. It also increases with age in European and North American countries but not in Asian countries. Symptoms of anxiety and depression have been consistently associated with RLS. Overall, individuals with RLS have a poorer health than non-RLS but evidence for specific disease associations is mixed. Future epidemiological studies should focus on systematically adding frequency and severity in the definition of the syndrome in order to minimize the inclusion of cases mimicking RLS.

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Available from: Maurice Moyses Ohayon, Mar 05, 2014
    • "The estimated global prevalence of RLS is 5% to 10% in the general adult population [2] [3]; 2% to 3% of adults in the United States have moderate-to-severe primary RLS [2]. RLS occurs more frequently in women than in men and is more common in Northern European and North American populations than in Asian, African, or Southeastern European populations [4] [5]. "

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    • "Finally, a neurologist and sleep disorders specialist (RP) confirmed RLS diagnosis [1] through clinical evaluation of positive HTDI screenings. RLS prevalence in general population is approximately 10% [7]. On the other hand, a case-series reported 25% of RLS in newly diagnosed TTR-FAP [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The relationship between restless legs syndrome (RLS) and peripheral neuropathy remains unclear. In order to clarify this relationship, we investigated if RLS is increased in familial amyloid polyneuropathy related to transthyretin (TTR-FAP) and investigated factors associated with RLS in this population. Methods: RLS frequency was compared between TTR-FAP patients and controls. Secondly, TTR-FAP patients with and without RLS were compared regarding demographic and clinical characteristics. Results: RLS frequency was significantly increased in TTR-FAP, with 18/98 (18.4%) cases contrasting with 5/104 (4.8%) controls (p-value 0.002). This difference remained significant after adjusting for confounders. In TTR-FAP patients, female sex (p-value 0.037), obesity (p-value 0.036) and weight excess (p-value 0.048) were associated with RLS, contrary to other classical RLS risk factors. Conclusions: RLS frequency is increased in TTR-FAP, thus supporting an association between RLS and neuropathy. This may represent a peripheral pathway in RLS pathogenesis. Furthermore, our results suggest that female sex and obesity/weight excess may be risk factors for RLS development among TTR-FAP patients.
    Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2015.10.012 · 3.97 Impact Factor
    • "Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common, age-related disorder , with a prevalence of up to 15% in various populations, and a higher prevalence among women [1] [2]. Patients with RLS suffer from lower limb discomfort, which typically occurs during the evening or night, and they can be alleviated by moving the legs or by walking. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a common, age- and gender-related disorder. Although several genetic risk factors were identified, the actual genetic causes are unclear. Methods: Whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed in seven families with RLS, focusing on potential genetic causes around six known genetic loci; MEIS1, BTBD9, PTPRD, MAP2K5/SKOR1, TOX3 and the intergenic rs6747972. Subsequently, genotyping using specific TaqMan assays was performed in two case-control cohorts (627 patients and 410 controls), and in a familial cohort (718 individuals). Results: WES identified two potential candidate variants in the GLO1 gene (within the BTBD9 locus), the p.E111A variant and the promoter variant c.-7C>T, both co-segregated with the disease in four families. The GLO1 p.E111A variant was associated with RLS in the French-Canadian cohort (OR 1.38, p=0.02), demonstrated a similar trend in the US cohort (OR 1.26. p=0.09, combined analysis OR=1.28 and p=0.009). However, the original GWAS marker, BTBD9 rs9357271 was more strongly associated with RLS (OR=1.84, p=0.0003), and conditional haplotype analysis, controlling for the effect of the BTBD9 SNP, demonstrated that the association of GLO1 p.E111A turned insignificant (p=0.54). In the familial cohort, the two GLO1 variants were not associated with RLS. Other variants, identified using WES in the SKOR1 (p.W200R, p.A672V) and PTPRD (p.R995C, p.Q447E p.T781A, p.Q447E and c.551-4C>G) genes, did not co-segregate with the disease. Conclusions: The GLO1 variations studied here are not the source of association of the BTBD9 locus with RLS. It is likely that the genetic variants affecting RLS susceptibility are located in regulatory regions.
    Sleep Medicine 06/2015; 16(9). DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2015.06.002 · 3.15 Impact Factor
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