Association between restless legs syndrome and hypertension: a preliminary population-based study in South Tyrol, Italy
Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013
© 2013 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2013 EFNS
European Journal of Neurology
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 72–78, January 2014
How to Cite
Giannini, G., Zanigni, S., Melotti, R., Gögele, M., Provini, F., Facheris, M. F., Cortelli, P. and Pramstaller, P. P. (2014), Association between restless legs syndrome and hypertension: a preliminary population-based study in South Tyrol, Italy. European Journal of Neurology, 21: 72–78. doi: 10.1111/ene.12244
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 23 APR 2013
- cardiovascular risk;
- population-based study;
- restless legs syndrome;
- Willis−Ekbom disease
Background and purpose
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep-related movement disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs accompanied by paresthesia and/or dysesthesia that begins or worsens in the evening and night and that is partially or totally relieved by movement. Many studies have investigated the association between RLS and cardiovascular risk factors, particularly hypertension, leading to conflicting results. The aim of this study was to assess the association between RLS and hypertension considering also other cardiovascular risk factors that could act as confounders.
In all, 1709 participants of an on-going adult population-based study performed in South Tyrol, northern Italy, were enrolled. RLS was assessed through face-to-face interviews according to current International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group diagnostic criteria. The presence of hypertension was self-reported and determined by questionnaires administered by trained study nurses.
The association between RLS and hypertension was not significant after adjustment for age, sex, diabetes mellitus, history of myocardial infarction, raised blood lipids and body mass index (odds ratio 1.24, 95% CI 0.85–1.80, P = 0.271).
Despite the small sample size of this study, RLS and hypertension were not associated in our adult population after adjustment for possible confounding factors. The presence of other cardiovascular risk factors could play a role as a confounder of this association.