Indian Journal of Sleep Medicine

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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 4 ( October-December, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Prevalence of Restless Leg Syndrome in Pregnancy— A Follow-up Study (PEARLS Study)

Uma Maheswari, Divya Devaraj, Uma Devaraj, Mark Bothello, Priya Ramachandran, George A D Souza

Keywords : Brain iron deficiency, Pregnancy, Restless leg syndrome, Serum ferritin

Citation Information : Maheswari U, Devaraj D, Devaraj U, Bothello M, Ramachandran P, D Souza GA. Prevalence of Restless Leg Syndrome in Pregnancy— A Follow-up Study (PEARLS Study). Indian Sleep Med 2018; 13 (4):57-61.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10069-0027

License: NA

Published Online: 01-01-2019

Copyright Statement:  NA


Background: Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a sensorimotor sleep disorder. The prevalence of RLS during pregnancy is 2 to 3 times more than in the general population. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of RLS in pregnancy in Indian population and its association with serum ferritin levels. Materials and methods: Three hundred twenty-five pregnant women were enrolled. Subjects were grouped as RLS positive (49 subjects) and controls (276) based on the personal interview and were followed 6 months later by telephonic interview. Results: The subjects’ mean age was 25.15 ± 3.86 years (range 18 to 38 years). The mean BMI of the subjects was 26.22 ± 5.31 kg/m2. The prevalence of RLS was 15.1% (49 subjects), 30 of whom were primigravida. Three, 6 and 40 subjects were in their first, second and third trimester of pregnancy respectively. The distribution of age, body mass index (BMI), diabetes, and hypertension were similar in the two groups. The number of hours of sleep was significantly less in the RLS positive group (7.93 vs. 7.5 hours; p-value = 0.017). The levels of hemoglobin, oral iron supplements and serum ferritin and baby's birthweight did not differ significantly between the two groups. Forty-five women reported resolution of RLS symptoms, while two women had persistent RLS symptoms, six months after delivery. Two women were lost to follow-up. Conclusion: The prevalence of RLS in pregnant Indian women is 15.1%, which was previously undiagnosed. RLS was more prevalent in the third trimester of pregnancy. Neither multiparity or low serum hemoglobin or ferritin were associated with RLS in pregnancy.

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