Background: Despite being frequently described in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), clinical characteristics and comorbidities in association with restless legs syndrome (RLS) are still to be confirmed.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate clinical factors associated with RLS in ESRD patients in hemodialysis.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of 400 patients on hemodialysis, evaluating RLS, clinical features and other sleep abnormalities.
Results: Out of 400, 86 patients presented RLS (21.5%; mean age 48.8+/-13.8y), being more frequent in females (p<0.005). Forty-eight individuals (12% mean age 50.7+/-13.1y) had moderate/severe RLS, 14 reported symptoms prior to hemodialysis, 13 described family history of RLS, and eight described symptoms as disturbing during dialysis. RLS cases showed lower hemoglobin (p<0.005), poorer quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index >5, p=0.002), higher scores on the Beck Depression Inventory Scale (p<0.005), greater scores on the Charlson Comorbidity Index (p=0.01) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (p=0.001) and higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA; Berlin questionnaire, p=0.01). Hypertension was more frequent in cases with moderate/severe RLS (p=0.01) and remained after controlling for the risk of OSA (p=0.02).
Conclusion: In ESRD patients in hemodialysis, RLS is present in 21.5%; 16% report symptoms prior to hemodialysis and a family history of RLS. Symptoms are disturbing during hemodialysis in 9% of cases. RLS is associated with lower hemoglobin, worse sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness, depressive symptoms and higher risk of OSA. Hypertension is associated with moderate/severe RLS.
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