Gender Differences in Bothersome Restless Legs Syndrome of Sleep Interview with:

Ambra Stefani, MD Sleep Disorders Clinic Department of Neurology Innsbruck Medical University Innsbruck, Austria

Dr. Stefani

Ambra Stefani, MD
Sleep Disorders Clinic
Department of Neurology
Innsbruck Medical University
Innsbruck, Austria What is the background for this study?

Response: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common neurological disorder, affecting up to 10% of the general population in Europe and North America. It is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations and an urge to move, mainly involving the legs. These symptoms appear or worsen in the evening/at night and improve with movement.

Background for this study was the idea that there might be gender differences in the phenotypical presentation of RLS, as the pathogenesis of this disease is multifactorial and gender specific factors also play a role.

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Chronic Insomnia Associated With Higher Risk of End Stage Kidney Disease and Mortality Interview with:
Dr. Jun Ling (Lucy) Lu, MD, CCRP
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Medicine

Csaba P Kovesdy MD FASN
Fred Hatch Professor of Medicine
Director, Clinical Outcomes and Clinical Trials Program

Division of Nephrology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Nephrology Section Chief, Memphis VA Medical Center
Memphis TN, 38163 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Around one third of the world’s population suffers from insomnia. Previous studies showed that sleep disorders affect the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and the sympatho-adrenal system, which may cause abnormalities in several organ systems and pathways causing metabolic or cardiovascular abnormalities. However, there is inadequate evidence of an association between chronic insomnia and adverse renal outcomes.

After examining 938,473 US veterans (4.4% of them had chronic insomnia) with baseline estimated eGFR >60 ml/min/1.73m2, we found that chronic insomnia is associated with a 43% higher risk of all-cause mortality, a 2.5-fold higher incidence of eGFR ≤45ml/min/1.73m2, a 2.3-fold higher ESRD risk, and with rapid loss of kidney function.

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Men With Sleep Disorders Have Greater Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Christian Benedict PhD Associate Professor of Neuroscience Uppsala University Dept. of Interview with:
Christian Benedict PhD
Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Uppsala University Dept. of Neuroscience


Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Answer: Our study involved ~1500 men who were followed from 1970 to 2010. All participants were 50 years old at the start of study.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Answer: Men with reports of sleep disturbances had a 50%-higher risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease during the 40-year follow-up period, than men without reports of sleep disturbances.
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Study finds Insomnia affects 40% of Adult Canadians

Sleep disorders affect 40 percent of Canadians

Quebec City, September 8, 2011—Sleep disorders affect 40% of adult Canadians according to a study conducted by Université Laval researchers under the supervision of Dr. Charles M. Morin. The work of Dr. Morin and his colleagues will be presented at the 4th World Congress on Sleep Medicine which runs September 10-14 in Quebec City, Canada.

Dr. Morin’s team surveyed a sample of 2,000 people across the country to draw a portrait of Canadians’ sleep quality.

Their data revealed that 40% of respondents had experienced one or more symptoms of insomnia at least three times a week in the preceding month, i.e., taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, being awake for periods longer than 30 minutes during the night, or waking up at least 30 minutes before they had planned. Moreover, 20% of the participants said they were unsatisfied with the quality of their sleep, and 13.4% of respondents displayed all the symptoms required to diagnose insomnia.

Although many respondents experienced at least one symptom of insomnia, only 13% said they had consulted a healthcare professional about it. The survey data revealed that Canadians use prescription medicine (10%), natural products (9%), over-the-counter drugs (7%), or alcohol (5%) to treat their sleep problems.

Surprisingly, the researchers observed that 9.5% of French speakers suffered from insomnia compared to 14.3% of English speakers. However, French speakers take more prescribed sedatives (13% vs. 9%) and natural products (16% vs. 7%) than English-speaking Canadians.

“Many people who suffer from insomnia try to treat the problem themselves rather than consulting a healthcare professional,” said Dr. Morin, a professor and researcher at Université Laval’s School of Psychology. “This is not a good idea because we don’t know the risks and benefits of products that have not been approved by government health agencies,” he explained.


Apart from Charles M. Morin, the co-authors of the study are Mélanie LeBlanc, Lynda Bélanger, Hans Ivers, and Chantal Mérette.