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Evaluation of restless legs syndrome symptoms in patients with and without the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological sleep disorder. Literature suggests association between RLS and diabetes, but few studies have been done evaluating the association between these conditions[1].


Evaluate the prevalence of RLS symptoms in patients with and without the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM2).

Materials and methods

Case control study. 112 individuals were studied, 28 with DM2 (cases) and 84 without DM2 (controls), in a medical clinic specialities at Tubarão, Brazil. They answered a questionnaire with socio demographic questions, information about diabetes and to the four minimum criteria, defined by The International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG), for RLS diagnosis[2]. Furthermore, they were subjected to the Epworth Sleepiness scale and the IRLSSG rating scale, both translated and validated to Portuguese[3, 4].


Among the cases, 21.4% presented RLS, compared to 14.3% in controls (p=0.269). The group with DM2 showed higher prevalence of Excessive daytime Sleepiness (EDS) (21.4% vs. 13.1%; p=0.219), and had higher scores in the IRLSSG rating scale (23,3±11,3 vs. 15,7±6,5; p=0.086). Correlating severity of RLS with glycemia, we obtained a Pearson correlation of 0.698 (p=0.003).


DM2 patients have a higher, but non-significant prevalence of RLS symptoms and EDS than the non-diabetics. It has been found a correlation between RLS severity and glycemia.


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Correspondence to Arthur Onofre Beltran Filho.

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Filho, A.O.B., Jung, G.A., Zoehler, L.V. et al. Evaluation of restless legs syndrome symptoms in patients with and without the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetol Metab Syndr 7, A89 (2015).

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  • Sleep Disorder
  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale
  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
  • Syndrome Symptom
  • Socio Demographic Question