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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2010 Mar-Apr;32(2):164-8. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2009.11.016. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Prevalence of idiopathic and secondary restless legs syndrome in Korean Women.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Inje University College of Medicine, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang 411-706, South Korea.



The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of idiopathic and secondary restless legs syndrome (RLS) and to compare them among Korean women.


A total of 1000 women aged 40-69 years from the general population were included in the study. The questionnaire used to gather data included modified International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG) criteria, and questions related to RLS.


Of the entire cohort, 65 subjects were diagnosed as having RLS according to IRLSSG criteria. The overall prevalence of RLS was thus 6.5%. Of those subjects with symptoms of RLS, 81.5% complained of insomnia. The age at the onset of RLS was 38.9 +/- 8.6 years. RLS symptoms were experienced every day by 18.5% of affected subjects. None of the RLS subjects revealed in this study had previously been diagnosed or treated for their RLS problems.


The prevalence of RLS reported herein is low compared with that reported for Western countries. Our study provides further evidence for low prevalence of RLS in Asian populations and supports the view that RLS is poorly recognized by both physicians and the general population, resulting in suboptimal management of the disorder.

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