Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 175-181

Risk factors of primary and secondary restless legs syndrome among a middle-aged population in Saudi Arabia: A community-based study

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Sleep Medicine and Research Center, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Siraj Omar Wali
Sleep Medicine and Research Center, College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah 80215, PO Box 21589
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atm.ATM_344_17

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INTRODUCTION: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is etiologically divided into primary and secondary syndromes. However, a comparative description of both types is lacking in the literature. We compared primary and secondary RLS with respect to demographic determinants, associated risk factors, and comorbidities. METHODS: Following a cross-sectional survey on the prevalence of RLS in a Saudi population, RLS cases were identified using the International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG) criteria. Cases were assessed with an interview-based questionnaire regarding baseline characteristics, risk factors, and comorbidities and with lower limb examinations and laboratory measurements. RLS severity was assessed using the IRLSSG Severity Rating Scale. RESULTS: In total, 78 patients with RLS, including 50 (64.1%) primary and 28 (35.9%) secondary cases, were examined. Of the primary cases, 35 (70%) were male; of the secondary cases, 25 (89.3%) were female (P < 0.001). Multivariate regression confirmed the association of male gender with primary RLS (odds ratio = 14.53, 95% confidence interval [2.9–75], P = 0.001). There were more dark- and black-skinned participants in the primary RLS group (38, 72%) than in the secondary group (15, 28%) (P = 0.042). Iron deficiency was observed in most (26, 92%) of the secondary cases. More severe symptoms were reported in secondary than in primary RLS cases (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Primary RLS is more common but less severe than secondary RLS. Male gender and ethnicity play significant roles in primary RLS, whereas female gender and iron deficiency may be the main risk factors associated with secondary RLS.

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