Diabetes, Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.  Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Heart Diseases
 Article 313
    Published on March 14, 2018

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) linked to risk of mortality or death from cardiovascular disease in women

Earlier research studies were inconsistent while reporting the risk of all-cause mortality or death due to cardiovascular diseases with restless legs syndrome (also known as Willis-Ekbom disease). Those people who are affected with restless leg syndrome (RLS) may also be suffering from other diseases and with risk factors to cardiovascular diseases such as obesity or overweight and high blood pressure. This makes it difficult in identifying the actual cause to the cardiovascular mortality or death.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health shows restless leg syndrome (RLS) could be a risk factor for mortality or death with cardiovascular diseases, especially among older women. Researchers say those women who were physician-diagnosed with restless leg syndrome (RLS) may likely to face 43 percent higher risk of death or mortality due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in a ten-year period when compared with normal people. The study also shows the proportion of the risk of mortality or death with cardiovascular diseases increases with the duration of restless leg syndrome (RLS).

Researchers have found a very strong association between them when they excluded health risks to other diseases and cardiovascular conditions. This study also shows cardiovascular diseases causes health risks apart from insomnia to people with restless leg syndrome (RLS).

Researchers have conducted studies among 57,417 women with an average age of 67 years. They used the Nurses' Health Study data for this purpose. But researchers excluded participants with other health conditions such as cardiovascular or heart diseases, high blood pressure, cancer or renal failure events. From 2002 until 2012, they periodically collected participant's information such as restless leg syndrome (RLS) and other health information related medical and lifestyle factors.

Ten-year follow-up studies show 6,448 deaths. The cause-specific mortality study shows marked higher cardiovascular mortality or deaths among people with restless leg syndrome (RLS) compared to people without restless leg syndrome (RLS). The study did not find any association between restless leg syndrome (RLS) and cancer deaths. But the study could not explain the mechanism behind the cardiovascular deaths with restless leg syndrome (RLS).

Researchers say further larger studies are required to find out the clinical impact of restless leg syndrome (RLS) on cardiovascular mortality or death. Researchers used Cox proportional hazards model in the current study while calculating hazard ratios and adjusted results with other chronic diseases, potential confounders and participant's age.

Women with restless leg syndrome RLS face a higher risk of death mortality due to cardiovascular diseases.

Lead author of the study was Xiang Gao,MD ,PhD, an associate professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, the United States. The study findings were published January 09, 2018, in the journal Neurology. Title of the article was "Prospective study of restless legs syndrome and total and cardiovascular mortality among women." DOI : doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000004814

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Restless leg syndrome : Restless leg syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease is a sleep and a neurological sensory disorder affecting mostly women and elderly adults. Unpleasant to very painful feeling in the legs and urge to move legs is the main symptom of this disorder. Affects with restless legs syndrome will worsen with age and cause sleep disturbance. Between 4 to 29 percent of adults in Western Europe and Northern America and between 5 to 15 percent in the United States were affected by this disorder. There are treatments to help but there is no permanent cure for this disorder.



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