RLS in middle aged women and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in their offspring

Department of Nutrition, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Sleep Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.15). 01/2011; 12(1):89-91. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2010.05.006
Source: PubMed


Previous studies have suggested that attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and restless legs syndrome (RLS) could share some common genetic backgrounds, but the effect of these genetic components could be modest. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a large-scaled cross-sectional study to examine whether women with a child with ADHD had a higher risk of having RLS than women of unaffected children.
We included 65,554 women free of diabetes, arthritis, and pregnancy in the current analyses. Information on RLS was assessed using a set of standardized questions. Participants were considered to have RLS if they met four RLS diagnostic criteria recommended by the International RLS Study Group and had restless legs ≥5 times/month. Information on ADHD in offspring was collected via questionnaire.
We observed a significant association between presence of ADHD in the offspring and risk of having RLS; the multivariate-adjusted OR for RLS was 1.27 (95% CI: 1.15, 1.41; P<0.0001), after adjusting for age, body mass index, number of deliveries during life time and other covariates.
We found that mothers of children with ADHD had an increased risk of having RLS. Further studies are warranted to explore biological mechanisms underling this association.

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Available from: Xiang Gao, Aug 26, 2014
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    • "In the literature published between 1990 and 2013, five studies reported on adult ADHD and restless legs syndrome (Gamaldo et al., 2007; Gao, Lyall, Palacios, Walters, & Ascherio, 2011; Steinlechner et al., 2011; Wagner, Walters, & Fisher, 2004; Zak, Fisher, Couvadelli, Moss, & Walters, 2009). Two studied ADHD in RLS patients (Gamaldo et al., 2007; Wagner et al., 2004), one examined RLS in ADHD patients (Zak et al., 2009) and two investigated RLS in parents of children diagnosed with ADHD (Gao et al., 2011; Steinlechner et al., 2011). We will describe these studies and report on our new recent study. "

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    • "but not with paternal RLS (P = 0.452). In this issue of Sleep Medicine, Gao et al. [11], from the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology of Harvard University, in collaboration with Dr. Arthur Walters, an RLS expert, conducted a large-scale epidemiological study in the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II) cohort in the USA. Their analysis included 65,554 women free of diabetes, arthritis , and pregnancy. "

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