Restless legs syndrome status as a predictor for lower physical function

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.29). 03/2014; 82(14). DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000284
Source: PubMed


To examine the potential long-term impact of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and other common sleep complaints on subsequent physical function (PF), we conducted a longitudinal analysis of 12,556 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
We used a set of questions recommended by the International RLS Study Group to assess RLS in 2002. We asked questions regarding other sleep complaints-insomnia, sleep fragmentation, and excessive daytime sleepiness-in 2004. We used the Physical Function (PF-10) survey of the Short Form-36 Health Survey to characterize PF in 1996 and 2008. We examined the 2008 PF-10 scores across categories of baseline RLS (2002), adjusted for age, 1996 PF-10 score, and other potential confounders.
The participants with RLS at baseline had significantly lower PF-10 score 6 years later than those without RLS (mean difference = -2.32, p = 0.01), after adjusting for potential confounders. The magnitude of difference in PF-10 score for RLS symptoms ≥15 times/month vs no RLS was more than that of a 5-year increase of age or moderate amount of smoking. Having daily daytime sleepiness and sleep duration ≥9 hours/day were associated with lower mean PF value than not having these symptoms (p < 0.05 for both).
RLS and other sleep complaints are associated with lower PF. Our findings need to be replicated by more longitudinal studies including women and populations of other social and cultural backgrounds. It is important to understand whether RLS is an independent risk factor or a marker for other unknown risk factors for disability.

Download full-text


Available from: Atul Malhotra, Mar 02, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is characterized by an urge to move the legs. The symptoms are more intense in the evening and during periods of inactivity. RLS symptoms are relieved by movement. It is classified as a sleep disorder but in many ways, it is actually a disorder of wakefulness that seems to intrude upon the ability to transition from wakefulness into sleep. Estimates on prevalence vary according to the methodology employed, but it generally affects between 3.9% and 14.3% of the population.(1) About one-third of persons are seriously enough affected to warrant treatment.(2.)
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Neurology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In recent years, there have been a number of advances in the field of restless legs syndrome (RLS) or Willis-Ekbom disease (WED). Here, we review recent studies pertaining to the diagnosis and clinical features, pathogenesis, and treatment of RLS/WED. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies have added a temporal dimension to RLS/WED epidemiology by examining both the incidence and persistence rates in different populations. Diagnostic criteria have been modified to increase sensitivity, and new guidelines take into account recently published studies of different drug classes. SUMMARY: Recent epidemiological findings have shown that RLS/WED is a common neurological disorder that affects up to 5% of the adult population in Western countries. In moderate and severe cases, RLS/WED has a strong impact on sleep and quality of life and can involve an increased cardiovascular risk. Diagnosis is made clinically by confirming the presence of the five essential criteria. However, in difficult cases objective tests such as the multiple suggested immobilization test (m-SIT) can be used. The pathophysiology is partially known, with several risk polymorphisms (BTBD-9 (BTB (POZ) domain containing 9), MEIS-1 (Meis homeobox 1), protein tyrosine phosphatase, receptor type, D, and others) playing an important role, along with dopaminergic and iron dysfunctions. The disorder frequently requires long-term treatment with low-dose dopamine agonists or α2δ ligands. Dopamine agonists are usually effective but the main complication, RLS/WED augmentation, can arise.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Current Opinion in Neurology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether restless legs syndrome (RLS) is associated with impaired physical functioning using subjective and objective assessments. From 2006-2013, 5,960 participants (mean age 67.2; 57.5% females) of the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study, aged 45 years and over, were cross-sectionally investigated for presence of restless legs syndrome using a questionnaire. Physical functioning was assessed subjectively with the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (basic activities of daily living) and the Instrumental Activities of Daily living scale (instrumental activities of daily living). Additionally, physical functioning was assessed objectively by quantifying fine motor performance with the Purdue Pegboard Test and by quantifying gait with an electronic walkway. Restless legs syndrome was present in 13.7% of the participants. Persons with restless legs had more impairment in basic (difference in score 0.65, 95% CI 0.41;0.90) and instrumental activities of daily living (difference in score 0.28, 95% CI 0.09;0.48) than persons without restless legs. This association was strongest when symptoms were present two or more times a week (basic activities of daily living score difference 1.69, 95% CI 1.28;2.09). The association between restless legs syndrome and activities of daily living attenuated after adjusting for sleep quality or depressive symptoms. There was no association with the Purdue Pegboard Test score nor with gait. Individuals with restless legs syndrome experienced significantly more impairment in activities of daily function than persons without restless legs. This seemed to be (partly) mediated by poor sleep quality and depressive symptoms. No association was found with objectively assessed physical functioning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Sleep Medicine
Show more