Restless legs syndrome in hemodialysis patients: An epidemiologic survey in greece

I. Stefanidis, A. Vainas, E. Dardiotis, C. D. Giannaki, P. Gourli, D. Papadopoulou, P. Vakianis, E. Patsidis, T. Eleftheriadis, V. Liakopoulos, S. Pournaras, G. K. Sakkas, E. Zintzaras, G. M. Hadjigeorgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by an uncontrolled need to move extremities accompanied by unpleasant sensations, which frequently leads to sleep disturbances. In hemodialysis (HD) patients, the previously reported RLS prevalence varied enormously, between 6% and 60%. In our study, we investigated the RLS prevalence in HD patients for the first time in Greece. Methods: A continuous sample of HD patients was studied between January and September of 2010 in six dialysis units in Greece. RLS diagnosis was based on the essential clinical criteria of the International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG). The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for RLS in HD patients was calculated in comparison to data from a recent survey of the general population in Greece. Results: In our study of 579 HD patients in Greece (236 women; mean age, 65±13years), the prevalence of RLS was elevated in comparison to the general population (26.6% vs 3.9%), with an SIR of 5.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.6-6.3). In the fully adjusted model, the risk for RLS in HD patients was reduced in older age (odds ratio [OR], 0.98 [95% CI, 0.96-0.99]) and increased in women (OR, 1.60 [95% CI, 1.05-2.43]) in cases with elevated levels of β2 microglobulin (OR, 1.15 [95% CI, 1.01-1.32]) and intact parathormone (iPTH) (OR, 1.30 [95% CI, 1.08-1.56]). Conclusion: A high RLS prevalence was recorded in a large HD population in Greece, clearly suggesting the need for enhanced awareness of RLS in nephrology. The RLS risk was increased in women and in younger HD patients as well as in those with elevated β2 microglobulin and iPTH levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1386
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Epidemiological study
  • Hemodialysis
  • Iron deficiency
  • Restless legs syndrome


Dive into the research topics of 'Restless legs syndrome in hemodialysis patients: An epidemiologic survey in greece'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this