A 2017 study in Neurology followed 57,000 women to see if RLS led to a higher risk of death. Even though women with RLS didn’t have a higher risk of death from any cause, they had a 43% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to those women without RLS. Meanwhile, no links between RLS and other diseases such as cancer were observed.
RLS can affect the risk of death in men regardless of other health factors, according to a 2013 study in Neurology. This study tracked more than 18,000 men and found that men with RLS had a 39% risk of death compared to other men of the same age. When considering factors like weight, lifestyle, health conditions, and sleep, the risk of death was still at 30% for men with RLS. The risk of death was 92% higher if the men had other health conditions, such as high blood pressure or cancer. Those with RLS who died often had respiratory, endocrine, metabolic, or immunologic conditions.