"There is a strong association between physical and mental health problems and RLS," said study author Barbara A. Phillips, MD, FCCP, President of the National Sleep Foundation and Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY. "It is possible that RLS causes mood disturbance. It is also possible the medications used to treat mood disturbance cause RLS. In addition, behaviors that are risk factors for RLS, such as smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle, are more prevalent in those with psychiatric illnesses."
In its annual sleep poll, the National Sleep Foundation randomly surveyed 1,506 adults throughout the United States on many aspects of sleep, sleep disorders, and daily living. Individuals were believed to be at risk for RLS if they reported unpleasant feelings in the leg for at least a few nights a week and which were worse at night. Of the individuals polled, 9.7 percent, including 8 percent men and 11 percent women, reported having symptoms of RLS. Survey results indicated that adults from the US South and West were more likely to be at risk for RLS than those from the Northeast. Adults who were overweight, unemployed, or smoked daily also were more likely to be at risk for RLS, as were those with hypertension, arthritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, depression, anxiety, and diabet
Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians