Restless legs, high BP among women linked

Washington: A middle-aged woman who suffers from restless legs syndrome (RLS) has higher chances of developing high blood pressure.

RLS is a common yet under-recognised disorder marked by intense, unpleasant leg sensations, and an irresistible urge to move the legs.

RLS symptoms can lead to poor sleep and daytime drowsiness. It affects as many as 15 percent of the adult population.

Researchers found that women who reported five to 14 incidences of RLS each month had a 26 percent prevalence of BP. More than 15 incidences of RLS had a 33 percent prevalence of high BP, reports Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.

"If future prospective research confirms this association, early diagnosis and treatment of RLS might help prevent hypertension," said study author Salma Batool-Anwar, researcher in the sleep medicine division at Brigham and Women`s Hospital.

"In some cases, the treatment of RLS is as simple as prescribing iron supplements, therefore, women who have symptoms suggestive of RLS should talk to their physicians," Anwar was quoted as saying in a hospital statement.

In 2005, researchers asked 97,642 women participating in the Nurses Health Study II about their RLS symptoms and hypertension status. More than 80 percent of the participants responded. The average age was 50.4 years.

Researchers found there was a significant relationship between RLS severity and blood pressure, and greater frequency of RLS symptoms was associated with higher blood pressure.


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