Restless legs syndrome (RLS) increases the risk of new cardiovascular events and cardiovascular mortality among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), according to Italian researchers.

Their 18-month prospective, observational study included 100 ESRD patients undergoing hemodialysis. RLS was present in 31% of patients and was associated with female gender, lower albumin, and gradual reduction residual diuresis, but not dialysis parameters Kt/V and urea reduction ratio, the investigators, led by Gaetano La Manna, MD, of the University of Bologna, reported online ahead of print in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.

New cardiovascular events and cardiovascular deaths occurred significantly more frequently in patients with RLS than in patients without RLS (64.5% vs. 39.1% and 32.3% vs. 14.5%, respectively). The mortality rate was 23.8% in patients with intermittent RLS compared with 55.6% in patients with continuous RLS.

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