Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013 , Vol 59 , Num 1

Hormonal Influences on the Severity of Restless Legs Syndrome, Sleep and Health-Related Quality of Life in Women of Reproductive Age

Selçuk Güzel 1 ,Zehra Özlem Kurtcebe 2 ,Savaş Şencan 3 ,Nur Turhan 4
1 Ağrı Devlet Hastanesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Kliniği, Ağrı, Türkiye
2 T. C. Sağlık Bakanlığı Temel Sağlık Hiz. Gn. Müd. Zoonotik Hastanesi Daire Başkanlığı, Ankara, Türkiye
3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Marmara University Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
4 Başkent Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Ankara, Türkiye
DOI : 10.4274/tftr.57060

Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine the influences of hormones and menstrual cycle on the severity of restless legs syndrome (RLS) in reproductive women.


Materials and Methods: A total of 381 volunteered women (aged 14- 53 years) were interviewed using a validated diagnostic questionnaire to determine the presence of the disease. Volunteers were asked questions regarding demographic characteristics. 54 women who fulfilled the disease criteria were administered the International RLS Severity Scale. The patients were also assessed by using the Short Form-36 and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index in order to evaluate the quality of life. Blood samples were drawn on the days 3, 13 and 23 of the menstrual cycle to determine hormone levels.


Results: There was no statistically significant difference among the groups in terms of the 381 women surveyed, 14.2% were positive for the disease. Severity of the disease symptoms were not correlated with hormone levels. We found no association of RLS with educational level, smoking, marital status and number of parity. However, a significant difference was found in alcohol intake and caffeine consumption between patients and controls (p<0.05). Perceived RLS severity was increased significantly in the follicular phase. The severity of the disease symptoms affected sleep quality and quality of life. No correlation was observed between hormone levels and SF-36 scores.


Conclusion: RLS is a common disease, affecting women in reproductive ages more often than in post-menopausal ages. Female hormonal changes do not correlate with the severity of RLS symptoms. RLS is perceived more severely in the follicular phase. Estradiol levels do not affect SF-36 scores in reproductive ages as it does in post-menopausal ages. 

Keywords : Restless legs syndrome, menstrual cycle, hormone levels,Pittsburgh sleep quality index, short form-36, international RLS severity scale