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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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com