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Restless legs syndrome in combined hormonal contraception users


  • Conflicts of interest

    All authors state that they do not have any conflicts of interest to declare.


Hrayr Attarian, Circadian Rhythms and Sleep Research Laboratory, Northwestern University, 710 N Lake Shore Drive, 5th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA. E-mail:


The goal of the study was to estimate the prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) among women of childbearing age taking combined hormonal or combined oral contraception (CHC). A survey that included demographic information, contraceptive use history, the four criteria necessary for RLS diagnosis and an International RLS study group severity scale was distributed to 145 women taking CHC and 169 matched control women not on CHC. A high prevalence of moderate to severe RLS of 20.7% was found. A significant correlation between CHC use and RLS was not found (p = 0.53). RLS severity was not significantly associated with CHC use either (p = 0.2127). Women with RLS were significantly heavier compared with those without RLS (p = 0.0015). RLS severity weakly correlated with body mass index (R = 0.26, p = 0.044). Hormonal contraceptive therapy does not increase the risk of developing RLS symptoms.