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To determine (a) the incidence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), (b) whether and how the occurrence and severity of RLS is related to severity of CD, and (c) how RLS influences the quality of life of CD patients.We carried out a cross-sectional questionnaire study in a random selection of 144 CD patients and 80 controls. Differences were calculated using a χ2-test (categorical data), an independent T-test (continuous data, normal distribution), or a Mann–Whitney U-test (continuous data, non-normal distribution). Logistic regression analysis was carried out to establish the relation between CD and RLS after adjusting for risk factors.The prevalence of RLS was 25.7% (37/144) in CD patients compared with 12.5% (10/80) in the control group (P=0.02). CD patients using caffeine and patients with arthralgias had a higher risk for RLS. A higher score on the modified Harvey Bradshaw Index and CD-related surgery were also associated with a higher risk for RLS. CD-related surgery was also associated with a more severe course of RLS. Patients and controls with RLS had a lower score on ‘physical functioning’, one of the subcategories of the RAND-36 quality-of-life questionnaire.RLS occurs more frequently in patients with CD compared with healthy individuals. A more severe course of CD seems to be associated with a higher risk for RLS. The presence of RLS has a negative influence on quality of life, mainly interfering with physical activities of daily life.