A brand new study shows the sleep and sensorimotor (nerves and their actions) disorder called Restless Legs Syndrome, may endanger and raise the risk of heart-related death, particularly among older women.
Five to fifteen percent of the U.S. population is living with this lifelong condition which has no cure. and it primarily affects women and elderly adults more than the rest of the population.
In simple terms, Restless Legs Syndrome could endanger women’s cardiovascular health.
This new study, led by an associate professor of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University, investigated the link between RLS and deaths related to cardiovascular disease among women.
As mentioned in previous articles, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women.
➡ In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
➡ Every single minute, more than one person in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.
➡ Women with Restless Legs Syndrome have a 43% percent higher risk.
The researchers examined data on 57,417 women, which was available from the Nurses’ Health Study, a study of women’s health.
- The average age of the women was 67, and none had cancer, renal failure or cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study.
- They were clinically followed for a period of 10 years.
During this time, the women were given questionnaires regarding Restless Legs Syndrome and other medical conditions and lifestyle factor, every 2 years.
During this follow-up period, 6,448 deaths were recorded.
The team calculated the heart-related death risk while adjusting for age, chronic illness, and other factors that could influence the results.
- The analysis revealed that women who had been diagnosed with Restless Legs Syndrome had a higher risk of Cardiovascular disease-related mortality.
- Additionally, the longer the women had had RLS for, the higher was their risk of CVD-related death.
No links were found between RLS and mortality caused by other conditions, such as cancer.
As the researchers explain, people who live with Restless Legs Syndrome are typically at risk of other conditions as well, such as obesity and high blood pressure. And, as you know, both of these are risk factors for Cardiovascular Disease.
So, in order to eliminate the possibility that these co-occurring conditions could be responsible for CVD death (rather than the sleep disturbance itself), the research team excluded women with these conditions from their study.
This made the statistical effect of Restless Legs Syndrome on heart-related death even stronger.
So, please, if you have Restless Legs Syndrome, even if it hasn’t been “formally” diagnosed, make an appointment, especially if you’re over the age of 60.