Women who suffer from restless-leg syndrome (RLS) are more likely to develop high blood pressure than women who do not have the sensory motor disorder, according to a new study published in the journal Hypertension.
The study monitored close to 98,000 women and found that those with symptoms of RLS were 41 percent more at risk of increased pressure. Researchers said the reasons are obvious.
“If you didn't sleep well, and you measured your blood pressure, and you were anxiety-prone, the pressure would probably be higher,” said Dr. Domenic Sica, director of the Blood Pressure Disorders Unit at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “Sleep can help anxiety, but if you don’t sleep, you never have enough rest to bring your blood pressure down at night, which is what it’s supposed to do. Blood pressure is supposed to drop about 20 percent at night.”
Women who have RLS are urged to tell their doctors, said lead researcher Dr. Xiang Gao, of Harvard Medical School.
“The risk of hypertension can be substantially reduced by following a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and keeping optimal body weight,” Gao said.