Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in restless legs syndrome patients

Sleep Med. 2012 Aug;13(7):953-7. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2012.04.009. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


Objective: Restless legs syndrome is characterised by discomfort during rest and an urge to move the limbs that is accompanied by abnormal sensations. Studies on disease pathophysiology have focused on dopaminergic dysfunction. Vitamin D may play an important role in dopamine function, but the role of vitamin D in restless legs syndrome has not been examined. We compared the serum vitamin D levels of RLS patients and matched controls and explored the correlation of plasma vitamin D levels with disease severity.

Patients/methods: We measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in 36 patients with restless legs syndrome and compared them to 38 healthy control subjects.

Results: The mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were 7.31±4.63 ng/mL in female patients with restless legs syndrome and 12.31±5.27 ng/mL in female control subjects (p=0.001). We found a significant inverse correlation between vitamin D levels and disease severity in females (p=0.01, r=-0.47).

Conclusion: The mean serum vitamin D levels were lower in female patients with restless legs syndrome. Low vitamin D levels may cause dopaminergic dysfunction in restless legs syndrome patients. Further studies are required to confirm these results.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / blood*
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Sex Factors
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D