Increased frequency of restless leg syndrome in patients with ankylosing spondylitis

Int J Rheum Dis. 2015 Jan;18(1):58-62. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12323. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


Objective: To assess the prevalence of restless leg syndrome (RLS) in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and to investigate factors potentially associated with RLS.

Methods: One hundred and thirty patients diagnosed with AS according to modified New York criteria and 91 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were included in this study. The diagnosis of RLS was made according to the criteria of the International RLS Study Group. The factors associated with RLS were evaluated. Electrophysiological procedures were performed in a group of patients with RLS.

Results: RLS was significantly more common in patients with AS (30.8%) than in healthy controls (13.2%). When AS patients with RLS were compared with AS patients without RLS, it was seen that peripheral arthritis, uveitis, anemia, smoking and polyneuropathy were significantly higher in the former group.

Conclusion: RLS is common in patients with AS and iron deficiency, smoking and small fiber neuropathy seem to be possible causes.

Keywords: ankylosing spondylitis; cutaneous silent period; iron deficiency anemia; restless legs syndrome; small fiber neuropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Erythromelalgia / diagnosis
  • Erythromelalgia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / diagnosis
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / epidemiology*
  • Turkey / epidemiology