Sunday, March 02, 2008

Restless Legs Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease

Dr. Poceta at Sleep Expert recently posted about the link between Restless Legs and Heart Attacks. It seems that restless legs syndrome isn't just an abnormal sensory/motor experience, it also has adverse health consequences:
In a recent blog post,
I reviewed a new study that showed an increased risk of heart disease in patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS). This study and others suggest that RLS, like sleep apnea, is more than just an unpleasant sleep disorder; such that RLS actually raises the chances of having a serious medical condition.
RLS is more than a feeling—patients with RLS have poor sleep and also have periodic limb movements (PLM's) during sleep.
PLM's are the repetitive movements of the foot, leg, and thigh that happen mostly during sleep in patients with RLS.

A recent study sheds some light on how and why RLS could lead to heart attacks—by raising blood pressure during the PLM's.
The study is published in the medical journal Clinical Neurophysiology in mid 2007.
I encourage you to read the full post at Sleep Expert, a revolutionhealth blog.

1 comment:

StevePocetaMD said...

Thanks Michael. AFter I posted that one, I found an even better study in Neurology from the group in Montreal. It showed exactly the same thing--increases in systolic blood pressure in the 4 to 4 seconds after the PLM--on the order of 16 mmHg. So now this finding has been confirmed independently.