Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The AASM also reports that low brain iron may play a role in worsening PLMS. According to the authors, studies demonstrate higher iron stores in African-Americans, providing a possible explanation for the racial differences found in the study. The results also are consistent with previous findings of racial differences for PLMS in children as young as five to seven years of age, suggesting that the racial differences found in adults may be present from an early age and pointing to potential genetic factors.
Data were collected as a part of a larger epidemiological study on daytime sleepiness in the general population of tri-county Detroit. The final sample included 592 individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 years, with an average age of 42 years. African-Americans made up 31.5 percent of the study group.
Participants were evaluated during a 24-hour laboratory assessment, which included an overnight polysomnogram and a five-nap, daytime, multiple sleep latency test. Participants also recorded sleep diaries two weeks prior to the laboratory assessment.
PLMS was defined as an average of 15 or more leg movements per hour of sleep. Individuals with PLMS were slightly but significantly older. Self-reported symptoms of either sleepiness or sleep disturbance were higher in participants with PLMS (56 percent) than in those without PLMS (29 percent). ###
Information for patients and the public about PLMS is available from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine at www.sleepeducation.com/Disorder.aspx?id=10.
Sleep is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. For a copy of the study, "Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep: Population Prevalence, Clinical Correlates and Racial Differences," or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson, please contact Kelly Wagner, AASM public relations coordinator, at (708) 492-0930, ext. 9331, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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