Document Type

Original Article


To determine the frequency of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and its associated factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Design and Methods:
It was single centered, cross-sectional study done with convenient sampling. The study population comprised 174 subjects (120 diabetics and 54 non-diabetics). Participants were recruited from the Diabetes clinic of Jinnah Medical College Hospital, Karachi. The relevant clinical and laboratory parameters were obtained by clinical history and chart review. Multivariable logistic regression was done to identify the factors of RLS among diabetics.

Using the International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG) criteria, RLS was identified only in 67(55.8%) subjects from the diabetic group. The mean age of RLS subjects was 56±8 years as compared to 46±8 years in the non-RLS subjects. Forty percent (26/67) of the diabetic/RLS+ subjects had diabetes for >10 years and had significantly deranged glycemic indices. Periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS) as reported by the bed partner or close family member were reported by 32(26.7%) of the diabetic subjects only; of which 21(65.6%) subjects had RLS. Sleep disturbances were more frequent among patients with RLS as compared to non-RLS (61.2% versus 21.5%). According to Semmes-Weinstein filament test, 61% of diabetics and 67% of diabetic/RLS subjects had peripheral neuropathy. Interestingly, none of our subjects who were diagnosed as RLS was ever asked by their physician for symptoms of RLS prior to this study.

RLS is a common problem among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and is associated with increasing age, peripheral neuropathy and impaired day time functioning. Poor recognition by physicians result in delayed diagnosis.

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