A new study found men who experience Restless Leg Syndrome have a higher chance of dying sooner, than men without.
Published in the journal Neurology, Xiang Gao a research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, tracked more than 18,000 men in their late 60s or older, ruling out those who have other conditions that may cut down life span such as diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure etc.
For eight years the men were tracked and researchers found that among 690 with restless leg syndrome, 171, or 25% of the men with the disorder, died in that period. Meanwhile, fifteen percent without RLS died.
“We found that the increased risk was not associated with the usual known risk factors, such as older age, being overweight, lack of sleep, smoking, being physically inactive and having an unhealthy diet,” Gao claimed. “The increased mortality in RLS was more frequently associated with respiratory disease, endocrine disease, nutritional/metabolic disease and immunological disorders. Through research, we need to pinpoint why and how RLS leads to this possible higher risk of dying early.”
That breaks down to showing men with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) faced a 40% higher risk of dying earlier than other men in the study.
RLS is a nervous system disorder that affects the legs, creating an urge to move them, WebMD reports. RLS is also considered a sleep disorder, because of the uncomfortable sensations it gives and has been described as itchy, “pins and needles,” creepy and tugging-feeling that interferes with sleep.
“RLS (restless leg syndrome) affects five to 10 percent of adults across the country,” study author Xiang Gao, MD, PhD said. “Our study highlights the importance of recognizing this common but under-diagnosed disease.”
“It brings recognition to RLS, which is largely unrecognized and under-diagnosed.” Gao says. “It suggests the importance to further understand (the condition).”
Men with restless legs face higher risk of death
An urge to move your legs, especially at night, may signal a condition known as restless legs syndrome. Our Medical Alert expert tells you what else to look out for and why men with the condition face a higher risk of death.