Restless Leg Syndrome Can Kill You


A journal, Neurology by Xiang Gao, a research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, is reporting a study of Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS.  It turns out that it can kill you.

Maybe it would not be listed as ‘cause of death’ on a death certificate, but it is problematic when linked with other conditions.  In a study, Gao found that men with RLS had a 40 percent greater chance of dying, than those without the condition.

“It brings recognition to RLS, which is largely unrecognized and under-diagnosed.” Gao says. “It suggests the importance to further understand (the condition).”

In their study, Gao and colleagues tracked more than 18,000 men in their late 60s or older for eight years and found that among 690 with restless leg syndrome, 171, or 25% of the men with the disorder, died in that period. Fifteen percent without RLS died.

He also found that those with heart disease, high blood pressure, or cancer, were 92 percent more likely to suffer an early death if RLS was factored in.

Gao says the next step is to discover the cause of RLS.  It has never received the priority, and this study should move it up on the list.

An estimated 10 percent of Americans have RLS.

A previous study, completed in 2012 in Germany, found no increased chance of early death.  András Szentkirályi, a research fellow at Germany’s Semmel University’s Institute of Behavioral Sciences, says he “questions the results.”

“Even with these differences, I was surprised that there were such strong relations between RLS and mortality,” he says. “There still is no explanation for these findings or how to further treat it. We need more research.”

William Ondo, professor of neurology at the University of Texas’ Health Science Center, says that discovering the cause for RLS, and its possible effects on mortality is tricky.

“The issue with these studies is when you look for other confounding illnesses it’s always problematic,” he says. “It’s always going to be debatable.”

James Turnage

The Guardian Express


5 Responses to "Restless Leg Syndrome Can Kill You"

  1. rlsottawa   August 7, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Hi James

    Inflammation is believed to be a key factor when it comes to Restless Legs Syndrome.

    It’s the chronic inflammation that is causing the early deaths, not the restless legs. The RLS is only a symptom of the chronic inflammation.

    Results of a scientific study were published in the January 14, 2012 issue of “Sleep Medicine Review Journal” that supports this theory. You can read that study here:

    You can view the results of other related scientific studies and learn about some helpful solutions at this RLS information website:

    A blog for RLS sufferers with helpful tips can be found here:

    A Facebook page as well:

    The solution is a combination of a proper anti-inflammatory diet as well as introducing natural supplements and key vitamins & minerals into your daily life.


  2. johnny42   June 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Wearing tights can be helpful for RLS.

  3. msbpodcast   June 16, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Puhleez. I hope that whoever made up this supposedly deadly disease is struck by lightning. Creating “Restless leg syndrome” sounds like a joke played by some MBA in marketing doing a case study in exploiting gullibility by the unscrupulous.

  4. ZM   June 16, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Could it be tied in with total REM sleep hours one gets on avg?

  5. halloween3   June 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    My dad has it and he is 93 and doing well, sometimes I wonder who writes this stuff, my dads wife died at 90 she had it also…he takes quinine pills for his legs and has been for the last 4 years and is doing good…Also if you have acupuncture it helps a lot..


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