Restless legs syndrome and cardiovascular risk
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Zakład Epidemiologii i Biostatystyki, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi
Paulina Agata Paciej   

Zakład Epidemiologii i Biostatystyki, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2016;22(2):104–107
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by presence of unpleasant sensations in the legs and, in consequence, irresistible urge to move them, especially at rest. Motor activity gives at least partial relief of the symptoms or their complete regression. It is estimated that the incidence of the disease ranges from 2.5 – 15.0%. RLS symptoms cause in most patients difficulties with falling asleep and maintaining the sleep, as a result leading to reduction of the quality of life. In 2001, there appeared the first report about relationship between RLS and cardiovascular diseases. Since that time, further research was conducted considering incidence of RLS and circulatory disorders, but they produced conflicting results.

Aim of the study:
The aim of the study was to review the results of epidemiological studies published in 2010–2015, where association between RLS, cardiovascular risk factors and circulatory disorders was analyzed. After searching PubMed base with following terms: ‘restless legs syndrome’ and ‘cardiovascular disease’, ‘hypertension’, ‘diabetes’, ‘obesity’, ‘dyslipidemia’, in total nineteen studies were included in the review

Description of the state of knowledge:
In the analyzed publications there is no clear answer to the questions whether RLS is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, and if the presence of cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors increase the likelihood of developing RLS.

Further observational studies are needed, particularly of a prospective type, with special consideration of the severity of symptoms, their duration, and the incidence of cardiovascular diseases

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