Many studies have investigated the association between restless legs syndrome (RLS) and cardiovascular risk factors, leading to conflicting results. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to determine whether RLS is associated with cardiovascular risk factors and disease.
This cross-sectional study included 5,324 consecutive subjects who visited the Physical Examination Center of The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University for their yearly routine physical examination. Participants underwent a face-to-face interview with a neurologist for the assessment of RLS, based on the International Restless Legs Study Group criteria. They also completed a questionnaire related to cardiovascular risk factors and other health-related and demographic information. Logistic regression was used to assess which of the demographic and cardiovascular risk factors increased the odds of RLS. Then, unadjusted and adjusted models were designed to determine whether RLS was associated with increased odds of cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, or hypertension.
RLS was observed in 9.2% of the participants. Multivariable logistic regression models, which included the covariates age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, hypercholesterolemia, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score (dichotomized at 5), demonstrated that female sex (odds ratio [OR]: 2.42, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.99–2.95), smoking (OR: 1.96, 95% CI: 1.31–2.92), high cholesterol (OR: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.03–1.64), and PSQI score > 5 (OR: 5.61, 95% CI: 2.14–14.69) are significantly associated with RLS. Additionally, RLS was associated with hypertension, after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score > 5, diabetes, anemia, and decreased renal function.
RLS is associated with the prevalence of hypertension but not with that of cardiovascular disease or coronary artery disease.
Liu Y, Liu G, Li L, Yang J, Ma S. Evaluation of cardiovascular risk factors and restless legs syndrome in women and men: a preliminary population-based study in China. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(3):445–450.