Association between restless legs syndrome and migraine: A population-based study

Stefano Zanigni, Giulia Giannini, Roberto Melotti, Cristian Pattaro, Federica Provini, Sabina Cevoli, Maurizio F. Facheris, Pietro Cortelli, Peter P. Pramstaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: A higher prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) in migraineurs has been reported in clinical samples and in two large-scale clinical trials performed on healthcare workers but general population-based studies on this topic are lacking. The aim of this study was to assess the association between migraine and RLS in an Italian rural adult population-based setting. Methods: The presence of migraine and RLS was assessed via a computer-assisted personal interview and self-administered questionnaires according to current diagnostic criteria in 1567 participants of a preliminary phase of an adult population-based study performed in South Tyrol, Italy. Results: Migraineurs had an increased risk of having RLS also after adjustment for confounding factors such as age, sex, major depression, anxiety and sleep quality (odds ratio 1.79; confidence interval 1.00-3.19; P = 0.049). This association was not modified by aura status and possible causes of secondary RLS. RLS was not significantly associated with tension-type headache. Conclusions: Restless legs syndrome and migraine were associated in our rural adult population. This association could be explained by a possible shared pathogenic pathway which would implicate new management strategies of these two disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1210
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Comorbidity
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Sleep disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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