Restless Legs May Increase Early Death Risk
Men with restless legs syndrome may have a higher risk of early death, a new study suggests. The study included 18,425 older men. Their average age was 67. The study did not include anyone who had diabetes, arthritis or kidney failure at the start of the study. About 4% had restless legs syndrome. During the next 8 years, 2,765 men died. Death rates were 39% higher for those with restless legs syndrome than for other men. Researchers then adjusted the numbers to account for several factors that can affect death risk. These included obesity, exercise habits and smoking. The higher death risk for men with restless legs syndrome dropped to 30%. But when researchers excluded men with major diseases such as cancer and heart disease, the effect of restless leg syndrome on death rates increased.
Tests May Help Predict COPD Flare-Ups
Three low-cost blood tests may help to predict flare-ups of a serious lung disease, a new study finds. The study focused on a medical database of 61,000 people. All had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This disease is a combination of chronic (long-lasting) bronchitis and emphysema. The vast majority of COPD patients are smokers or ex-smokers. Some people with the disease have flare-ups. These are periods of more intense symptoms. People in the study were not having flare-ups at the time the study began. They were given blood tests that looked for 2 proteins: fibrinogen and C-reactive protein. Another test measured a type of white blood cell called leukocytes. People who had increased levels of all 3 were more likely to have frequent flare-ups during a follow-up period. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the study.
Study Links Low Blood Sugar with Dementia
Older diabetics who have a sharp drop in blood sugar may be more likely to develop dementia, a new study suggests. And low blood sugar may occur more often in those with dementia, the study also found. Diabetes medicines are used to lower blood sugar. Medicines must be kept in balance with what people eat. If they don't eat enough or take too much medicine, they can get very low blood sugar. This is called hypoglycemia. It can lead to confusion, fainting or even a trip to the hospital. The new study included 783 adults with diabetes. They were in their 70s and did not have dementia when the study began. Researchers kept track of them for 12 years. In that time, nearly 8% had hypoglycemia at least once. Nearly 19% of people in the study developed dementia. People who had an episode of hypoglycemia were twice as likely as others to develop dementia later.