To study development of restless legs syndrome (RLS) during and after pregnancy, and whether RLS is related to snoring or other pregnancy-related symptoms.
Antenatal care clinics in the catchment area of Linköping university hospital, Sweden.
Five hundred consecutively recruited pregnant women.
Sleep disturbances, including symptoms of RLS and snoring, were assessed with questionnaires in each trimester. A complementary questionnaire was sent three years after delivery to women experiencing symptoms of RLS during pregnancy.
Symptoms of RLS in relation to snoring in each trimester.
Symptoms of RLS were reported by 17.0% of the women in the first trimester, by 27.1% in the second trimester and by 29.6% in the third trimester. Snoring in the first trimester was correlated to increased prevalence of RLS in all three trimesters (p= 0.003, 0.017 and 0.044 in the first, second and third trimester, respectively). No correlation was found between RLS and anemia, parity or body mass index. Among the women who experienced RLS, 31% still had symptoms three years after delivery. Fifty-eight per cent of those whose symptoms had disappeared stated that this happened within one month after delivery.
Symptoms of RLS progressed most between the first and second trimester. Women who snored in the first or second trimester of pregnancy had a higher prevalence of RLS in the third trimester, which indicates that snoring in early pregnancy might predict RLS later. Symptoms of RLS disappear quite soon after delivery, but about one-third of women with RLS during pregnancy may still have symptoms three years after childbirth.