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Worrying study reveals link between restless legs and heart disease

by , 30 January 2013

If you suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS), your risk of heart disease may be doubled, according a study from Harvard researchers. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself…

“RLS affects approximately 10% of the populace, with onset commonly occurring among woman in their 50s”, reports HealthNews. 
 
“It almost always begins with a tingle running up your leg. And, within a few minutes, you just can’t keep your legs still,” explains Antoinette Pombo in Health Bytes. Try as you might to relax your muscles, they won’t stop jittering and twitching... Especially on long car trips or while you’re lying in bed.
 
And while many see RLS as little more than an annoying quirk they have to live with, RLS could be a sign of something more sinister…
 
What’s the connection to heart disease?
 
The researchers at Harvard believe the reason for the higher risk for heart disease is that people with restless leg syndrome have higher blood pressure and faster heart rates... The disruption to sleep is also believed to play a part.
 
So what can you do to combat RLS?
 
The culprit behind RLS can be something as simple as excessive caffeine consumption or too little exercise. Other non-drug restless legs treatments may include leg massages, hot baths, heating pads and good sleep habits.
 
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that advice from the researchers for people with restless leg syndrome is to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk for heart disease.

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