Restless legs syndrome linked to increased risk of earlier death among men

Men who experience restless legs syndrome (RLS) may be at increased risk of dying earlier than men without the condition, according to a study by Xiang Gao, of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Restless legs syndrome is characterized by throbbing, pulling, or creeping sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move the legs to get relief, particularly at night.

The study was published online June 12, 2013 in Neurology.

“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 said in a June 13, 2013 CBS News article. “Through research, we need to pinpoint why and how RLS leads to this possible higher risk of dying early.”

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