Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is an independent predictor of mortality in kidney transplant patients, a study found.


Adrienn Marton, MD, of Semmelweis University in Budapest, and colleagues prospectively collected data on the TransQol-HU cohort to determine if the presence of RLS in kidney transplant patients predicts heightened mortality risk.

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The prevalence of the syndrome in their sample size of 804 patients was 4.7%. Moreover, iron deficiency was more prevalent in patients with RLS (27%) compared with those without (11%).


Hemoglobin and albumin levels were approximately the same in both groups, as was the estimated glomerular filtration rate (42 and 50 mL/min/1.73m2 for those with and without RLS, respectively).


The major difference between those with and without RLS was in mortality risk: 26% of RLS patients had died after four years of follow-up compared with 11% of patients without RLS, a significant difference between groups, according to the researchers. After adjusting for potential confounders, RLS was associated with a twofold increased risk of mortality.


“No prospective study to date has demonstrated an association between the presence of the RLS and mortality in [this patient population,]” the authors wrote.


Now that RLS has been identified as an independent risk factor for mortality in kidney transplant recipients, “treatment of the syndrome may influence survival,” the investigators added.