Journal of Neurology

, 254:1401 | Cite as

Comorbidity of restless legs syndrome and HIV infection

  • S. Happe
  • L. Kundmüller
  • D. Reichelt
  • I.-W. Husstedt
  • S. Evers
ORIGINAL COMMUNICATION

Abstract

Background

The lifetime prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is about 10 % in the general population. The association of RLS with HIV infection is unknown. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of RLS in HIV positive patients and to define predictors.

Methods

A standardized questionnaire was presented to 228 HIV infected patients of the HIV outpatient clinic at the Department of Neurology,University of Münster, Germany. 129 patients (57% recall; 15% female, 44 ± 9 years; mean CD4+ cell count 333 ± 274/μl, 82% under highly active antiretroviral treatment) were included in the statistical analysis. 100 age- and sex-matched controls (20 % female, 42 ± 13 years) were recruited from waiting relatives of surgical patients. Beside demographic and disease-specific data, the questionnaire included the diagnostic questions for RLS and the RLS severity scale by the International RLS Study Group. Diagnosis of RLS was confirmed by experienced neurologists.

Results

33.3% of the HIV infected patients and 7% of the controls (p <0.001) fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for RLS. The mean RLS severity score was higher in HIV infected patients (19.5 ± 7.2) than in controls (7.3 ± 1.5; p <0.001) and correlated inversely with the CD4+ cell count (r = -.381; p = 0.024) and the BMI (r = -.548; p <0.001) but not with other disease-specific factors.

Conclusions

HIV infected patients show a significantly higher prevalence rate for RLS than the general population. The HIV infection itself with its immunological changes and involvement of the central nervous system may predispose for a risk of RLS in HIV infected patients.

Key words

restless legs syndrome RLS HIV CD4+ cell count 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Happe
    • 1
  • L. Kundmüller
    • 2
  • D. Reichelt
    • 3
  • I.-W. Husstedt
    • 2
  • S. Evers
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Dept. of Clinical NeurophysiologyKlinikum Bremen-Ost/University of GöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Dept. of NeurologyUniversity of MünsterGermany
  3. 3.Dept. of Internal Medicine DUniversity of MünsterGermany
  4. 4.Professor of Neurology, Dept. of NeurologyUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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