Last reviewed 01/2018

  • in the white Caucasian population, adult prevalence figures for restless legs syndrome (RLS) or periodic limb movements range between 5 and 29 per cent (1)
    • with reference to the MEMO study results, it is likely to be in excess of five million people in the UK who have RLS (1,2)
  • in the United States and Northern Europe around 7 to 10% of the general population are diagnosed with RLS (3)
  • prevalence and disease severity seems to increase with age (3)
  • the incidence is higher in women (3)
  • RLS presents mostly in middle age - however onset occurs before the age of 20 in up to 43 per cent of adult cases (1)
  • many patients will have a mild form of RLS
    • however in some the symptoms may be very severe - these patients will often request and need treatment