Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Large multinational general population study shows restless legs syndrome is common, under-diagnosed

15.06.2005


The first multinational study to assess patients considered to have diagnostic criteria for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), a chronic and disruptive neurological disorder characterized by a compelling urge to move the legs, found that the condition is common, under-diagnosed, and can significantly impact sleep and daily activities. Results of the R.E.S.T. (RLS Epidemiology, Symptoms, and Treatment) General Population Study, a population-based survey completed by telephone and face-to-face interviews, are published in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Medical Association. Another arm of the R.E.S.T. study, called the R.E.S.T. Primary Care Study, was published in the May 2004 issue of the journal Sleep Medicine, and included epidemiological information on RLS gathered from patients and doctors at primary care centers in the U.S. and Europe.



After obtaining background information from 15,391 study participants, researchers collected details from the respondents that reported experiencing RLS symptoms at any time in the past year, about the frequency and nature of their RLS symptoms, the degree of associated distress, and prior physician consultation and diagnosis. The percentage of patients who reported having RLS symptoms at any frequency was 7.2 percent. A subset of these patients (2.7 percent of study participants overall), defined as RLS sufferers, reported having symptoms two to three times per week and symptoms that were moderately or severely distressing (n=416). Eighty-one percent of these RLS sufferers (n=337) reported discussing their symptoms with a primary care physician yet only 6.2 percent indicated that they were given a diagnosis of RLS.

"One of the biggest issues facing those with symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome is obtaining appropriate diagnosis and management," said Nancy L. Earl, M.D., Group Director Clinical Neurology, GlaxoSmithKline, the company that funded the R.E.S.T. General Population Study. "Millions of people suffer from RLS yet some physicians may not connect certain physical and sensorimotor symptoms to RLS, resulting in a sizeable population that is not getting medical attention or diagnosis."


In addition to a compelling urge to move the legs, RLS is characterized by uncomfortable or sometimes painful sensations in the legs often described as creeping-crawling, tingling, pulling or tightening. Symptoms of RLS generally occur at rest, such as when sitting, lying or sleeping, and are temporarily relieved by movement. RLS encompasses a range of severity that includes mild, moderate and severe symptoms.

The frequency of any RLS symptoms in the total study population was approximately twice as high for women as it was for men (9 percent vs. 5.4 percent). Prevalence of the condition increased up to age 79 and then declined. While RLS patients are generally older, of the group defined as RLS sufferers, 36 percent of the RLS sufferers in the R.E.S.T. General Population study were age 49 or younger.

RLS Impact on Sleep and Daily Activities

The R.E.S.T. General Population study found that among the subset of patients defined as RLS sufferers, more than 75 percent of these patients reported at least one sleep related symptom. Disturbance of daytime activities was reported by 55.5 percent of RLS sufferers. Disrupted sleep, the inability to fall asleep and insufficient hours of sleep are common among RLS sufferers.

Quality of life was evaluated in this study using the Short Form – 36 Health Survey (SF36), an extensively tested and validated tool that assesses eight dimensions of health-related quality of life: physical functioning, physical limitations on normal role activities, bodily pain, general health, energy and vitality, social functioning, emotional limitations on normal role activities, and mental health.

Researchers observed that the RLS sufferers had lower quality of life scores than the general population and concluded that their quality of life appears to be comparable with that experienced by patients with other chronic medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes and clinical depression.

The study authors believe that patient complaints of sleep abnormalities as well as daytime performance-related effects including difficulty concentrating should be clues to physicians that a patient may be suffering from RLS.

Of the RLS sufferers identified in the study that did seek medical attention (81percent), 74.8 percent recalled receiving a diagnosis for their symptoms, but only 6.2 percent reported being diagnosed with RLS. Poor circulation (18.3 percent), arthritis (14.3 percent) and back problems (12.7 percent) were the most common diagnoses reported.

Holly Russell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.restlesslegs.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>