Health News

Restless legs ‘can cause heart attack’

Restless legs ‘can cause heart attack’

LONDON: Do you have an irresistible urge to move your legs particularly when you are not engaged in any activity?

Well, if yes, then just consult a doctor as you might be suffering from restless legs syndrome which can up your risk of getting a heart attack.

A team of international researchers has carried out a study and found that the sufferers of restless legs syndrome (RLS) – a common sleep disorder – are more than twice as likely as non-sufferers to have a stroke or heart attack.

“Most people with RLS have as many as 200 to 300 periodic leg movements per night of sleep. These leg movements are associated with substantial acute increases in both blood pressure and heart rate, which may, over the long term, produce cardiovascular disease,” according to lead researcher Dr John W Winkelman of the Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The team came to the conclusion after analysing over 3,400 people with an average age of 68. The participants were questioned about RLS symptoms and their cardiovascular health. Seven per cent of women and three per cent of men had symptoms associated with the condition.

Even after adjusting their results for factors such as age, body mass index, blood pressure and smoking, those with RLS were found to be more than twice as likely to have heart problems than those who did not have the condition.

“The association of RLS with heart disease and stroke was strongest in those people who had RLS symptoms at least 16 times per month. There was also an increased risk among people who said their RLS symptoms were severe compared to those with less bothersome symptoms,” Dr Winkelman was quoted as saying.

PTI