Prevalence of Restless Legs Syndrome in Adult ADHD and Its Subtypes

Behav Sleep Med. 2016 Sep-Oct;14(5):480-8. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2015.1018386. Epub 2015 Sep 29.


In this observational cross-sectional study, 49 subjects were assessed for sleep disorders and for ADHD symptoms. Thirty-six received an ADHD diagnosis (29: combined type (ADHD-C); 7: inattentive type). An RLS and RLS symptoms prevalence of 34.5% was found, with a higher prevalence rate in the ADHD-C subgroup, although not significantly (p = 0.066). RLS symptoms were correlated with particularly hyperactivity-impulsivity (ρ = 0.742; p: 0.000). ADHD patients with positive RLS scores reported higher scores on the ADHD-Rating scale compared with patients with negative RLS scores (Z: -2.968, p = 0.003), mainly due to higher hyperactivity-impulsivity scores (Z: -3.145; p = 0.002). Our findings show that clinicians need to be aware of RLS among adult ADHD patients, particularly those with severe hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / epidemiology*