STOCKHOLM—More than one third of patients with stage III-IV CKD have restless legs syndrome (RLS), an Italian study found.


The estimated prevalence of RLS in the general population and the hemodialysis population is 5%-15% and 12%-62%, the researchers noted. Little data are available regarding RLS prevalence in patients with CKD stages III-IV.

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Investigators at the University of Pisa administered a questionnaire to 40 CKD stage III-IV and 72 hemodialysis patients. The first part of the questionnaire asked for demographic data, general medical and renal disease history, and dialytic and pharmacologic treatment. The second part looked for the presence of the minimal International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG) criteria for the diagnosis of RLS. Subjects also answered questions about sleepiness and somnolence.


Based in IRLSSG criteria, RLS was present in 35% of patients with CKD stage III-IV and 43% of the hemodialysis patients. Based on IRLSSG criteria, 42% of HD patients with RLS were seriously affected by the disorder, the researchers reported here at the 2008 congress of the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association.

Patients with or without RLS did not differ with respect to etiology of renal disease, age, gender, BMI, or intake of nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, or drugs.