OBJECTIVE: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common neurologic disorder. Secondary RLS includes pregnancy and iron deficiency. Prevalence of RLS in pregnancy ranges from 11% to 27%. We aimed to assess the frequency and characteristics of RLS in pregnancy in a Peruvian population and to evaluate the possible pregnancy or delivery complications due to RLS.
METHODS: We assessed 218 consecutive expectant mothers at the inpatient clinic of the Hospital San Bartolome in Lima, Peru. Assessment was performed by using the standard diagnostic criteria for RLS and by using a clinical and diagnostic interview. Questionnaires for RLS severity, idiopathic RLS (IRLS), and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) according to the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) were used. Blood examination was performed for hemoglobin and hematocrit. For comparison, RLS patients were matched for age and body mass index (BMI) with pregnant women without RLS.
RESULTS: Out of 218 patients, 40 (18.4%) fulfilled diagnostic criteria for RLS. In RLS patients, prophylactic iron supplementation therapy during pregnancy was less frequently taken (P=.02). Pregnant women with RLS had a higher ESS score than pregnant controls (10.6 +/- 3.1 vs 7.6. +/- 3.6; P<.001). Preeclampsia was more frequent in RLS (7/40 vs 1/39; P=.03).
CONCLUSIONS: In our study, RLS was frequent in pregnant Peruvian women, especially in those without prophylactic iron supplementation. RLS patients described more EDS. Preeclampsia was more common in RLS. Our study is the first study to indicate a possible association between RLS and preeclampsia.