Restless legs syndrome in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Document Type : Original Article


1 Pulmonologist, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Jollygrant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, 248140.

2 Psychiatrist, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Jollygrant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, 248140.


Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of death. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is associated with many systemic diseases. RLS is found in many patients with COPD. There is paucity of data on this topic from India. The aim is to find the prevalence of RLS in COPD patients and its distribution in study population with respect to various demographic and clinical characteristics. Correlation between severity of RLS and COPD severity was also aimed to be evaluated.
Materials and Methods: Prospective, observational study conducted in a tertiary care institute over a period of 12 months. After fulfilling the inclusion criteria the patients were categorized according to the severity of COPD using the GOLD guidelines. Diagnosis and severity of RLS was evaluated using IRLSSG criteria. Prevalence and association of RLS with COPD and its demographic and clinical characteristics was evaluated.
Results: A total of 294 patients were taken which included 229 (77.9%) males and 65 females (22.1%). Mean age was 62.05 ± 10.32 years. Smoking was a more common risk factor among the patients (85.7%). 110 patients were diagnosed with RLS. A statistical significant association was found between duration of COPD and RLS (p value =0.001) and also between severity of COPD and RLS (p value=0.001). A significant positive correlation (r=0.395, p value= 0.001) between severity of COPD and RLS. Forty two (87.5%) patients with definite RLS had stage D COPD. Degree of obstruction of airways showed a statistical significant association with prevalence of RLS (p value=0.001).
 Conclusion: RLS showed increased prevalence in COPD patients making it crucial to screen all the COPD patients for symptoms of RLS and if required to treat the symptoms, thus improving the quality of life.


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