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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. Feb 2004; 75(2): 226–230.
PMCID: PMC1738920

Correlation of anxiety and depression symptoms in patients with restless legs syndrome: a population based survey


Background and objectives: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is an important and common cause of insomnia, and previous studies indicate that psychiatric wellbeing may be impaired among RLS patients. We aimed to investigate the interaction between anxiety/depression and RLS in a population based survey.

Methods: Data were drawn from the Mersin University Neuro-Epidemiology Project, a representative community sample of adults aged over 17 years residing in Mersin (n = 3234). Subjects found to be positive for RLS (n = 103) were evaluated for symptoms of anxiety and depression using the Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scales and compared with the same number of contemporaneous control subjects.

Results: Significantly greater anxiety and depression symptoms were observed among patients with RLS than in the control subjects. Our data also seem to provide initial evidence of a correlation between the severity of RLS and of anxiety and depression symptoms (r = 0.21, p = 0.03 and r = 0.201, p = 0.04 respectively).

Conclusions: Assessment of psychiatric status of RLS patients can be helpful and sometimes necessary to determine additional features and treatment strategies of this bothering condition. Further studies are needed to replicate our findings using longitudinal data.

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Selected References

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