Risk of cardiovascular death due to restless legs

Restless legs syndrome is associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease in women, according to a study published in the scientific journal Neurology.

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University, led by the assistant professor of nutritional sciences Xiang Giao, found that women with a diagnosed restless leg syndrome had increased rates of cardiovascular related mortality.

In particular, women were 43% more likely to die from cardiac disease over a decade compared to those who did not suffer from this syndrome.

“People with restless legs syndrome are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions, but previous studies on mortality of independent etiology have resulted in inconsistent results. Our research clarifies that restless legs syndrome affects cardiovascular disease-related mortality in elderly women, in particular, “explains Dr Giao.

Usually people with restless legs syndrome also have other conditions, such as obesity or hypertension. This makes it difficult to distinguish whether death associated with cardiovascular disease is due to restless legs syndrome or other conditions.

Dr. Giao and his associates, after excluding the participants who had other conditions, found that the relationship between cardiovascular death and restless legs syndrome was strong.

The study included 57,417 women, on average 67 years, from the Nurses’ Health Study, which examines the impact of various factors (diet, hormones, the environment, work) on the health of nurses and on various diseases.

Participants completed questionnaires every two years from 2002 to 2012. During the study, 6,448 deaths were recorded. When a cause of death was studied, it was found that those with restless legs had a higher risk of cardiovascular mortality.