RLS Diagnosis Often Overlooked

Published Online: Thursday, September 1, 2005

Researchers took a closer look at restless legs syndrome (RLS) in a study reported on recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The RLS Epidemiology, Symptoms and Treatment (REST) General Population Study questioned >15,000 individuals about any RLS symptoms they had had in the previous year, the nature and frequency of those symptoms, the degree of associated distress, and prior physician consultation and diagnosis.

The investigators found that 7.2% of all the participants reported having at least some RLS symptoms, and 2.7% of the study participants were defined as individuals with RLS. The study defined the condition as having symptoms 2 to 3 times a week that were either moderately or severely distressing. In terms of RLS frequency among men and women, the occurrence was almost twice as high in women (9%), compared with men (5.4%). The research also showed that the prevalence of RLS increased up to age 79 and then declined.

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