Document Detail

Sex and the risk of restless legs syndrome in the general population.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14744844     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is characterized by the desire to move the limbs associated with paresthesias of the legs, a motor restlessness, an intensification of symptoms at rest with relief by activity, and a worsening of symptoms in the evening or at night. Population-based studies are rare, and risk factors in the general population are not known. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey with face-to-face interviews and physical examination among 4310 participants in the Study of Health in Pomerania in northeastern Germany. Participants were aged 20 to 79 years and were randomly selected from population registers. Restless legs syndrome was assessed with standardized, validated questions addressing the 4 minimal criteria for RLS as defined by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of RLS was 10.6%, increasing with age, and women were twice as often affected as men. While nulliparous women had prevalences similar to those among men up to age 64 years, the risk of RLS increased gradually for women with 1 child (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.25-3.13), 2 children (odds ratio, 3.04; 95% confidence interval, 2.11-4.40), and 3 or more children (odds ratio, 3.57; 95% confidence interval, 2.30-5.55). Subjects with RLS had significantly lower quality-of-life scores than those without the syndrome. CONCLUSIONS: Restless legs syndrome is a common disease in the general population, affecting women more often than men. It is associated with reduced quality of life in cross-sectional analysis. Parity is a major factor in explaining the sex difference and may guide further clarification of the etiology of the disease.
Klaus Berger; Jan Luedemann; Claudia Trenkwalder; Ulrich John; Christof Kessler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archives of internal medicine     Volume:  164     ISSN:  0003-9926     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch. Intern. Med.     Publication Date:  2004 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-01-27     Completed Date:  2004-03-05     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372440     Medline TA:  Arch Intern Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  196-202     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Münster, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Cross-Sectional Studies
Educational Status
Germany / epidemiology
Health Status
Interviews as Topic
Logistic Models
Middle Aged
Multivariate Analysis
Physical Examination
Quality of Life
Restless Legs Syndrome / epidemiology*
Sex Factors
Smoking / adverse effects

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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