Prevalence of restless legs syndrome: a cross-sectional population-based study from northwest of Turkey

Aksoy S., EKER E., OYMAK S., Karaman H. I. O.

SLEEP AND BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS, vol.19, no.4, pp.453-458, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41105-021-00335-8
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.453-458
  • Keywords: Comorbidity, Prevalence, Restless legs syndrome, Sleep disorders
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Background Although restless legs syndrome (RLS) is one of the most frequent movement disorders, it is often misdiagnosed or even unrecognized. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of RLS among adult population (individuals who are older than 18 years old) in the city center of Canakkale, from northwest of Turkey. Method This community-based study was performed as a cross-sectional, door-to-door field study.The adult population of the city center of Canakkale had an estimated population of 126,893 according to 2018 data. The sample size of the study assuming RLS prevalence, in Epi Info Statcalc program was determined to be 476 subjects using the sample calculation formula. We reached 622 adults. The International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG) diagnostic criteria were applied and the IRLSSG rating scale (IRLS) was used to assess the severity of symptoms. Results The RLS prevalence was determined as 12.1%. The prevalence reached peak point (15.3%) in the 50-65-year-old group. The IRLSSG severity scale score correlated with age (r = 0.356, p < 0.01). We observed particularly a higher RLS prevalence for patients with two or more medical comorbidities, although this trend did not reach significance (p > 0.05). Conclusion We found high prevalence of RLS among adult individuals. Despite this increasing prevalence, very few patients seek professional help and treatment. We see that the prevalence of RLS has increased with recent prevalence studies over the years.