Prospective study of restless legs syndrome and risk of depression in women

Yanping Li, Fariba Mirzaei, Eilis J. O'Reilly, John Winkelman, Atul Malhotra, Olivia Ifeoma Okereke, Alberto Ascherio, Xiang Gao

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Abstract

Most research on the association between restless legs syndrome (RLS) and depression has involved cross-sectional data. The objective of the present study was to evaluate this issue prospectively among Nurses' Health Study participants. A total of 56,399 women (mean age 68 years) who were free of depression symptoms at baseline (2002) were followed until 2008. Physician-diagnosed RLS was self-reported. During 300,155 person-years of follow-up, the authors identified 1,268 incident cases of clinical depression (regular use of antidepressant medication and physician-diagnosed depression). Women with RLS at baseline were more likely to develop clinical depression (multivariate-adjusted relative risk (RR) 1.5, 95 confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 2.1; P 0.02) than those without RLS. The presence of RLS at baseline was also associated with higher scores on the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD-10) and the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) thereafter. Multivariable-adjusted mean differences were 1.00 (standard error, 0.12) for CESD-10 score and 0.47 (standard error, 0.07) for GDS-15 score between women with RLS and those without RLS (P < 0.0001). In conclusion, women with physician-diagnosed RLS had an increased risk of developing clinical depression and clinically relevant depression symptoms. Further prospective studies using refined approaches to ascertainment of RLS and depression are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume176
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology

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    Li, Y., Mirzaei, F., O'Reilly, E. J., Winkelman, J., Malhotra, A., Okereke, O. I., Ascherio, A., & Gao, X. (2012). Prospective study of restless legs syndrome and risk of depression in women. American journal of epidemiology, 176(4), 279-288. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kws016