No association between plasma hepcidin levels and restless legs syndrome - results from the Danish Blood Donor Study

Joseph Dowsett*, Maria Didriksen, Margit Hørup Larsen, Kristoffer Sølvsten Burgdorf, Lise Wegner Thørner, Erik Sørensen, Christian Erikstrup, Ole Birger Pedersen, Sisse Rye Ostrowski, Henrik Ullum

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


BACKGROUND: Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological sensorimotor disorder that occurs in the evening and night, thereby often impacting quality of sleep in sufferers. The aetiology of RLS is not completely understood although iron dysregulation has been suggested as a likely pathway. The relationship between RLS and the iron regulatory protein hepcidin has not been studied in large cohorts. We aimed to assess whether an association between plasma hepcidin variation and RLS exists in a large cohort of healthy individuals.

METHODS: Plasma hepcidin levels were measured in 9708 Danish blood donors from the Danish Blood Donor Study all of whom correctly completed the validated Cambridge-Hopkins RLS-questionnaire for RLS assessment.

RESULTS: A total of 466 blood donors were determined as current RLS cases in the sample (4.8%). RLS cases had a significantly higher proportion of females (56.7% vs 46.7%; P < 0.001) and were older (median age [IQR] 40.6 years vs 38.0 years; P = 0.010) than controls. RLS cases were also more frequent smokers (P = 0.004). No significant differences were found in body mass index (BMI), alcohol consumption, time of donation and donation history between cases and controls. No difference in plasma hepcidin levels was observed between RLS cases and controls (median concentration [IQR]: 10.5 ng/ml [6.3-16.4] in RLS cases vs 10.5 ng/ml [6.0-16.5] in controls). Using a logistic regression model, we found that hepcidin levels were not associated with RLS after adjusting for age, sex, alcohol consumption, smoking status, donation time and donation history (OR = 1.00 [0.99-1.02] per 1 ng/ml increase of hepcidin; P = 0.429).

CONCLUSION: Our study in Danish blood donors did not find an association between RLS and plasma hepcidin levels. Our findings suggest that plasma hepcidin's role as a potential diagnostic biomarker of RLS is inadequate.

Sider (fra-til)68-73
Antal sider6
TidsskriftSleep Medicine
Tidlig onlinedato15 okt. 2021
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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