Restless Leg Warning

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Story Updated: Jun 14, 2013

Important new research for people with restless leg syndrome

RLS is characterized by having an irresistible urge to move the legs...often at night. Other unpleasant sensations include burning, creeping, and tugging.

A new study, done at Harvard, tracked more than 18-thousand men who were evaluated for RLS. A total of 690 met the criteria for a diagnosis.

During eight years of follow-up, 2-thousand-7-hundred-65 of the participants died, including 171 with restless leg syndrome.

In other words, 25% of the men with RLS died compared to 15% of those without the disorder-

The researchers say that translates to a nearly 40% increased risk of early death for men with RLS. Even adjusting for factors like body mass index, lifestyle and chronic conditions had little effect on the numbers.

More study is now being called for to determine why and how restless leg syndrome leads to a possible higher risk of dying early.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.