Epidemiology of restless legs syndrome in Korean adults

Yong Won Cho, Won Chul Shin, Chang Ho Yun, Seung Bong Hong, Ju Han Kim, Richard P. Allen, Christopher J. Earley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) in Korea. Design: A large population-based telephone interview method using the Korean version of the Johns Hopkins telephone diagnostic interview for the RLS. Setting: A computer aided telephone interview method Participants: A total of 5,000 subjects (2,470 men and 2,530 women) were interviewed in depth. A representative sample aged 20 to 69 years was constituted according to a stratified, multistage random sampling method. Interventions: N/A Measurements and Results: Of the respondents, 373 respondents (7.5%) of the population (pop) met the criteria for the definite or probable RLS groups: 194 (3.9% of pop) respondents fulfilled the criteria for definite RLS and 179 (3.6% of pop) respondents fulfilled the criteria for probable RLS. The prevalence of RLS was generally higher for women than men (4.4% vs. 3.3% for definite, 8.7% vs. 6.2% for definite plus probable). About 90% of RLS individuals were experiencing symptoms at the time of the interview and this was similar for both RLS groups. Seventy-four respondents (1.48%) reported symptoms were moderately or severely distressing and were therefore classified as RLS "sufferers." Of those with a diagnosis of RLS sufferer, 24.3% reported being treated for their symptoms, compared to 12.4% of RLS not designated a "sufferer." Conclusion: RLS is common and underdiagnosed in Korea with nearly 1% of the population reporting disturbed sleep related to their RLS. These results are comparable to other countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Epidemiology
  • Korea
  • Prevalence
  • Restless legs syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Epidemiology of restless legs syndrome in Korean adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this