Restless legs syndrome in children with allergic rhinitis: A comparative study on frequency, severity and sleep quality

Turk J Phys Med Rehabil. 2018 Mar 12;64(3):198-204. doi: 10.5606/tftrd.2018.2265. eCollection 2018 Sep.


Objectives: This study aims to investigate the frequency and severity of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and its relationship with sleep quality in children with allergic rhinitis (AR) with the hypothesis that comorbid RLS may be an additional causative factor of sleep disturbances in pediatric AR.

Patients and methods: A total of 143 children with AR (aged 8-18 years) and 144 healthy control subjects (aged 8-18 years) were included. The diagnosis of AR was established on history, clinical examination and skin prick test according to the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma guidelines. Presence of RLS was determined using the International RLS study group (IRLSSG) criteria. The severity of RLS was assessed using the IRLSSG rating scale. Sleep quality was evaluated by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

Results: Thirteen patients (9.1%) in AR group, and six children (4.2%) in control group had RLS (p=0.159). The frequency of RLS in AR group was higher than two folds when compared to the control group; however, the difference was not statistically significant. Restless legs syndrome severity score was significantly higher in AR group than control group (15.00 [11-20] and 11.00 [10-16] respectively, p=0.046). Total PSQI scores were similar between groups. Also, no significant differences were observed in total PSQI scores of AR patients with or without RLS.

Conclusion: Restless legs syndrome was not more common but was more severe in children with AR. There was no evidence that RLS has an obvious effect on sleep quality in children with AR.

Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; Willis-Ekbom disease; restless legs syndrome; sleep quality.