Severity of increased restless legs syndrome (RLS) is associated with subsequent increased risk of stroke, a new study suggests. Other known risk factors of increased RLS severity are age, smoking, hypertension and unhealthy diet.
"We were surprised at the importance of taking into account RLS severity -- it was only severe RLS that was associated with increased risk of stroke," said senior author Xiang Gao, associate professor, department of nutritional sciences at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park.
Information on RLS was collected through questionnaire which was based on International RLS Study Group criteria.
There were 161 incident stroke cases during the six-year follow-up.
The study appeared in the journal Sleep.