Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Restless leg syndrome linked to erectile dysfunction in older men

Date:
January 2, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
A new study shows that erectile dysfunction was more common in older men with restless leg syndrome (RLS) than in those without RLS, and the magnitude of this association increased with a higher frequency of RLS symptoms.

A study in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that erectile dysfunction was more common in older men with restless leg syndrome (RLS) than in those without RLS, and the magnitude of this association increased with a higher frequency of RLS symptoms.

Results show that erectile dysfunction was 16 percent more likely in men with RLS symptoms that occur five to 14 times per month (odds ratio of 1.16) and 78 percent more likely in men whose RLS symptoms occur 15 or more times a month (OR=1.78). The associations were independent of age, body mass index, use of antidepressants, anxiety and other possible risk factors for RLS. Fifty-three percent of RLS patients and 40 percent of participants without RLS reported having erectile dysfunction, which was defined as a poor or very poor ability to have and maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse.

The results suggest it is likely that the two disorders share common mechanisms, said lead author Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, instructor at Harvard Medical School, associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and research scientist at the Harvard School of public health in Boston, Mass.

"The mechanisms underlying the association between RLS and erectile dysfunction could be caused by hypofunctioning of dopamine in the central nervous system, which is associated with both conditions," said Gao.

Data were collected from 23,119 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up study, a large ongoing U.S. cohort of male dentists, optometrists, osteopaths, podiatrists, pharmacists and veterinarians. Participants were between the ages of 56 and 91 years, with a mean age of 69 years. To reduce possible misclassification of RLS, participants with diabetes and arthritis were excluded.

Participants were questioned in 2002 about RLS diagnosis and severity based on the International RLS study group criteria. RLS was defined as having unpleasant leg sensations combined with restlessness and an urge to move; with symptoms appearing only at rest, improving with movement, worsening in the evening or at night compared with the morning, and occurring five or more times per month.

About four percent of participants had RLS (944 of 23,119 men), and about 41 percent (9,433 men) had erectile dysfunction. Men with RLS were older and were more likely to be Caucasian. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction also increased with age.

The authors noted that the association between RLS and erectile dysfunction also could be related in part to other sleep disorders that co-occur with RLS. For example, obstructive sleep apnea and sleep deprivation may decrease circulating testosterone levels.

They also pointed out that the cross-sectional design of the study did not allow for a determination of causality. Further epidemiological studies are needed to clarify the relationship between the RLS and erectile dysfunction and to explore the biological mechanisms underlying the association.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Restless leg syndrome linked to erectile dysfunction in older men." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100101011830.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2010, January 2). Restless leg syndrome linked to erectile dysfunction in older men. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100101011830.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Restless leg syndrome linked to erectile dysfunction in older men." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100101011830.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins