Restless Legs Linked To Increased Stroke And Heart Disease Risk

A new US study has found that people with restless legs syndrome (RLS) have double the risk of stroke and heart disease compared to people without

The study is the work of Dr. John Winkelman W, of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues, and is in the 1st
January 2008 issue of the journal Neurology .

Winkelman and colleagues also found that most people with severe and frequent symptoms of RLS ran the highest risk for stroke and heart -

Gr�te its kind, the 3433 study included community-based participants in the average age of 68 the Sleep Heart Health Study, a multi-center cohort
study conducted by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to cardiovascular and other consequences of sleep-disordered breathing.

The researchers used information that the participants on detailed questionnaires to ascertain who had RLS and had a diagnosis for angina pectoris,
heart attack, stroke or heart failure by a doctor. Reports of treatments such as coronary revascularization were also included.

This helped the researchers determine the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD) and total cardiovascular disease (CVD), which also reports
CAD and stroke, or heart failure .

A diagnosis of RLS was four diagnostic criteria, and if the symptoms occurred at least five times a month and has been associated with
least moderate distress.

The results showed that:

  • 6.8 percent of women and 3.3 percent of male participants had RLS.

  • people with RLS were more than 2 times more likely to heart disease, or cerebrovascular disease (odds ratio 2.05 for the war and for CAD 2.07
    For CVD).

  • This figure was unchanged after adjusting for age, sex, race, body mass index (BMI), diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood pressure medications,
    HDL / LDL cholesterol, and smoking status.

  • The relationship between RLS and heart disease and stroke was greater in people who reported symptoms of RLS at least 16 times per month.

  • The relationship between RLS and heart disease and stroke was also greater in people who reported severe as opposed to "m�ig bothersome
    symptoms. < br>

    The authors concluded that:

    "-Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is far with coronary heart disease and cardiovascular diseases. This association seems more in the
    gr�erer frequency and severity of RLS symptoms. "

    Winkelman, said that although their research results do not show that RLS causes cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, there was strong evidence to suggest a number
    The way they it can do.

    "In particular, most people with RLS have more than 200 to 300 periodic leg movements of sleep per night and leg movements that are used in conjunction with
    Acute significant increases in the two Blood pressure and heart rate, which may be on the long-term, produce cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases, "
    Winkelman said.

    He also said that the study was supported by the fact that the data were collected from its own Information from questionnaires and clinical interview with a trained medical professional

    RLS is a neurological disorder where you the irresistible urge to move your legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable feelings such as creeping,
    itching pulling, tugging and gnawing. Symptoms are often worse, if you, for example, when you lie down, and better if your legs

    One of the gr �ten complaints from RLS patients is difficult and there asleep. too many RLS patients have periodic limb movements of sleep
    (PLMS), where the legs jerk every 20 or 30 seconds, on and off all night while sleep. This means that sleep deprivation can be serious health consequences,
    relationships, work, and the general quality of life.

    According to the RLS Foundation, up to 10 percent of Americans have the syndrome.

    "Association of restless legs syndrome and cardiovascular disease in the Sleep Heart Health Study."
    < br> Winkelman, John W., Shahar, Eyal, Sharief, Imran, Gottlieb, Daniel J.

    neurology 2008 70: 35-42

    Published 1 . online in January 2008.

    Click here for Abstract.

    Click here for more information on RLS (the RLS Foundation, US).

    Sources: journal articles, American Academy of Neurology press release, Sleep Heart Health Study website, RLS Foundation.

    Written by: Catharine Paddock

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