Friday, July 5, 2013

Restless legs syndrome and mortality rate

This study is getting alot of press, so thought I would post it. It is about restless legs syndrome (RLS). RLS is a neurological sleep disorder that causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs at night. It makes you want to move your legs to relieve the sensation. This study showed that men with RLS have a higher chance of dying than those without RLS. I don't have access to the full study in the Neurology Journal, so some details can not be provided. It's not clear how RLS increases mortality rate. However, RLS is often present along with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and OSA is known to increase mortality rate. The study authors asked patients if they have OSA, but most won't know if they have OSA unless they have a sleep study. So many of these men could have had undiagnosed OSA and RLS - but the OSA would be the factor in the increased mortality rate, not the RLS.

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