Burden of restless legs syndrome on health-related quality of life

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Adaptation, Psychological; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Comorbidity; *Cost of Illness; Depression; Female; Health Status; Humans; Male; Mental Health; Middle Aged; Quality of Life; Restless Legs Syndrome; *Sickness Impact Profile; United States


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


OBJECTIVE: To quantify the total and unique burden of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) on patient-reported health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

METHODS: The disease burden that RLS places on HRQoL was estimated by comparing Short-Form (SF-36) scores between individuals with RLS and several patient and general populations in the US. Regression methods were applied to estimate SF-36 normative values from the general population sample and statistically adjust them to match age, gender and disease comorbidity characteristics of the RLS sample. Significance tests were then used to compare the means across samples.

RESULTS: All SF-36 measures were significantly below adjusted US general population norms. Five of the eight scales (physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, general health, vitality) were below US norms by 0.8 or more standard deviations (SD), while the remaining three (social functioning, role emotional, mental health) were 0.5 SD below norm. The burden of RLS was greater on physical than on mental/emotional HRQoL (physical and mental summary scores were 1.08 and 0.40 SD below norm, respectively), and greater than that observed for type-2 diabetes.

CONCLUSION: After controlling for the impact of age, gender, and disease comorbidity, RLS was associated with unique burden on both physical and mental aspects of HRQoL.

DOI of Published Version



Qual Life Res. 2007 May;16(4):617-24. Epub 2007 Feb 1. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed