Early restless legs diagnosis might help prevent hypertension

RESTLESS legs syndrome (RLS) is linked to an increased risk of hypertension in women, research shows.

A cross-sectional study of more than65,000 middle-aged participants in the US Nurses’ Health Study II found hypertension was more likely with more frequent RLS symptoms.

Among women reporting 5–14 RLS episodes per month, 26% were hypertensive, and among those with more than 15 episodes per month, hypertension prevalence was 33%. This compared to a prevalence of 21% in women with no RLS.

“If future prospective research confirms this association, then early diagnosis and treatment of RLS might help prevent hypertension,” the authors said.

Hypertension 2011; 58:79-96