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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.


  1. 1.

    Innes KE, Selfe TK, Agarwal P: Restless legs syndrome and conditions associated with metabolic dysregulation, sympathoadrenal dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease risk: a systematic review. Sleep Med Rev. 2012, 16 (4): 309-39.

  2. 2.

    Allen RP, Picchietti D, Hening WA, Trenkwalder C, Walters AS, Montplaisi J, et al: Restless legs syndrome: diagnostic criteria, special considerations, and epidemiology. A report from the restless legs syndrome diagnosis and epidemiology workshop at the National Institutes of Health. Sleep Med. 2003, 4 (2): 101-19.

  3. 3.

    Bertolazi AN, Fagondes SC, Hoff LS, Pedro VD, Barreto M, Saldanha S, et al: Portuguese-language version of the Epworth sleepiness scale: validation for use in Brazil. J Bras Pneumol. 2009, 35 (9): 877-83.

  4. 4.

    Masuko AH, Carvalho LBC, Machado MAC, Morais JF, Prado LBF, Prado GF: Translation and validation into the Brazilian Portuguese of the restless legs syndrome rating scale of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2008, 66 (4): 832-6.

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Author information

Correspondence to Arthur Onofre Beltran Filho.

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