Sleep and Biological Rhythms

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 127–135 | Cite as

The prevalence and associated risk factors of restless legs syndrome among Saudi adults

  • Nahid Sherbin
  • Anwar Ahmed
  • Abdulhamid Fatani
  • Khalid Al-Otaibi
  • Fares Al-Jahdali
  • Yosra Z. Ali
  • Abdullah Al-Harbi
  • Mohammad Khan
  • Salim Baharoon
  • Hamdan Al-Jahdali
Original Article


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the prevalence, risk factors, other associated sleep disorders and commodities of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) among a sample of Saudis population. The diagnosis of RLS was based on the four criteria designated by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG). Of 2095 participants, the average age of the sample was 42.3 (±15.5), and 848 (40.7%) were females. The prevalence of RLS was 14.7% with 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 13.3–16.3%. The presence of RLS was higher in males than females (16.3% in males vs. 12.5% in females, P = 0.016). Risk factor for RLS was smoking (P = 0.002), depression (P = 0.001), short sleep duration (P = 0.005), hyperlipidemia (P = 0.013), poor sleep quality (P = 0.001), and high risk for sleep apnea (P = 0.001). The prevalence of RLS was not affected by various age groups (14.1% in the young age group (18–29 years), 15.9% in the middle-age group (30–60), and 11.7% in the elderly (over 60), P = 0.139). Among participants with RLS, 20.8% reported severe RLS, 30.7% reported moderate RLS, and 48.5% reported mild RLS. Using the multivariate logistic regression model we found that smoking (aOR = 1.686; 95% CI 1.199–2.372; P = 0.003), short sleep duration (aOR = 1.568; 95% CI 1.024–2.400; P = 0.039), poor sleep quality (aOR = 1.969; 95% CI 1.236–3.139; P = 0.004), and high risk of sleep apnea (aOR = 1.598; 95% CI 1.113–2.295; P = 0.011) were all significantly associated with the presence of RLS.


Restless legs syndrome Sleep apnea Short sleep Poor sleep quality Saudi Arabia 



Restless legs syndrome


Obstructive Sleep Apnea


Berlin Questionnaire


Epworth Sleeping Scale


Excessive daytime sleepiness


Body Mass Index


International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group


Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Sleep Research 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nahid Sherbin
    • 1
  • Anwar Ahmed
    • 2
  • Abdulhamid Fatani
    • 3
  • Khalid Al-Otaibi
    • 3
  • Fares Al-Jahdali
    • 3
  • Yosra Z. Ali
    • 4
  • Abdullah Al-Harbi
    • 1
  • Mohammad Khan
    • 1
  • Salim Baharoon
    • 1
  • Hamdan Al-Jahdali
    • 1
  1. 1.Pulmonary Division-ICU, Department of Medicine, Sleep Disorders CenterKing Saud University for Health Sciences, McGill University, King Abdulaziz Medical CityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health and Health InformaticsKing Saud University for Health SciencesRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.College of MedicineKing Saud University for Health SciencesRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.King Abdulaziz Medical CityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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