Sunday September 22, 2019

People with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) may Be at Significantly Higher Risk of Suicide and Self-Harm

Restless legs syndrome causes an uncomfortable feeling in a person's legs resulting in the urge to move them, often during the night

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Restless Legs Syndrome, Suicide, Self Harm
Using Big Data, the researchers found that people with restless legs syndrome had a 2.7- fold higher risk of suicide or self-harm, even if they didn't suffer from conditions such as depression, insomnia, diabetes and so on. Pixabay

People with restless legs syndrome (RLS) may be at significantly higher risk of suicide and self-harm, warns a new study.

Using Big Data, the researchers found that people with restless legs syndrome had a 2.7- fold higher risk of suicide or self-harm, even if they didn’t suffer from conditions such as depression, insomnia, diabetes and so on.

Restless legs syndrome causes an uncomfortable feeling in a person’s legs resulting in the urge to move them, often during the night.

“Our study suggests that restless legs syndrome isn’t just connected to physical conditions, but to mental health, as well,” said Xiang Gao, Associate Professor at Penn State University in the US.

Restless Legs Syndrome, Suicide, Self Harm
People with restless legs syndrome (RLS) may be at significantly higher risk of suicide and self-harm, warns a new study. Pixabay

The study looked at health records of 24,179 people who had been diagnosed with RLS and 145,194 people who did not have RLS.

All participants were free of suicide and self-harm at the baseline of the study.

After analysing the data, the researchers found that people, who had restless leg syndrome, had a 270 per cent higher chance of suicide or self-harm than people who did not.

The risk did not decrease even when the researchers controlled for such factors as depression, sleep disorders and common chronic diseases.

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“After controlling for these factors, we still didn’t see the association decrease, meaning RLS could still be an independent variable contributing to suicide and self-harm,” said Muzi Na from Penn State.

“We still don’t know the exact reason, but our results can help shape future research to learn more about the mechanism.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Media Giant Facebook Tightening it’s Policies Around Self-harm, Suicide

The photo-sharing platform also prevents self-harm content from appearing in its "Explore" tab and it has taken steps to prohibit content that may promote eating disorders

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

On World Suicide Prevention Day, Facebook is tightening its policies around self-harm, suicide and eating disorder and has announced its plan to hire a health and well-being expert to join its safety policy team.

“Earlier this year, we began hosting regular consultations with experts from around the world to discuss some of the more difficult topics associated with suicide and self-injury. These include how we deal with suicide notes, the risks of sad content online and newsworthy depiction of suicide,” Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety, Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The social media giant has been working on suicide prevention measures since a few years now and in 2017, it introduced its artificial intelligence (AI)-based suicide prevention tools.

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“…We’ve made several changes to improve how we handle this content. We tightened our policy around self-harm to no longer allow graphic cutting images to avoid unintentionally promoting or triggering self-harm, even when someone is seeking support or expressing themselves to aid their recovery,” Davis added.

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Facebook-owned Instagram stared hiding self-harm images behind “sensitivity screens” this year.

The photo-sharing platform also prevents self-harm content from appearing in its “Explore” tab and it has taken steps to prohibit content that may promote eating disorders. (IANS)