Approximately 7% of the sample population in a recent study had restless leg syndrome (RLS) with periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS “electro-clinical RLS”). This condition was more common among older individuals, did not vary by sex, and was less common among blacks. Cross-sectional data from 2,041 Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Sleep ancillary study participants were used. PLMS (>15 periodic limb movements per hour of sleep) was measured by polysomnography. RLS symptoms were assessed using the 2009 International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group clinical criteria. Researchers found:
- The prevalence of RLS with PLMS was 6.7%, RLS alone 16.1%, and PLMS alone 21.2%.
- RLS with PLMS was prevalent in 7.0% of whites, 4.9% of blacks, 10.1% of Hispanics, and 3.3% of Chinese-Americans.
- In adjusted models, odds of RLS with PLMS was higher for those aged >67 years vs those younger.
- Relative to white participants, the prevalence of RLS with PLMS tended to be lower among blacks.
- The prevalence of concurrent RLS and PLMS did not statistically differ by sex or obesity status.
- RLS alone was more common in women.
Doan TT, Koo BB, Ogilvie RP, Redline S, Lutsey PL. Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movements during sleep in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA). [Published online ahead of print June 1, 2018]. Sleep. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsy106.
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