Restless Legs Linked to High Blood Pressure in Women

2 min read

Woman having blood pressure taken

by Bradley Gillespie, PharmD

Harvard Medical School researchers noted that there was only limited research characterizing the relationship between Restless Legs (RLS) and high blood pressure.

As a result, the team —Salma Batool-Anwar, MD, of the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Division of Sleep Medicine, in Boston, MA, and investigators — set out to conduct a clinical study, enrolling more than 65,000 women aged 41-58 years. The presence of RLS was determined by using a self-administered questionnaire. Statistical tools were used to determine the extent of relationship between the presence of RLS and high blood pressure.

When the results were tallied, it was determined that the odds of having high blood pressure were 20% greater in women with RLS, compared with those who did not have the condition. At the same time, a greater frequency of RLS was observed in the women who had high blood pressure than those that did not.

While the authors cannot conclude from this study that RLS causes blood pressure to rise, they did document a significant relationship between the severity of RLS symptoms and the prevalence of high blood pressure.

In an accompanying editorial in the same publication, Dr. Domenic Sica from the Virginia Commonwealth University suggested that the lack of sleep that often goes along with RLS does not permit the body to properly calm itself — a process needed to bring blood pressure down to reasonable levels.

The take-home message here is that RLS is a serious problem that needs to be effectively managed. Calm Legs restless legs remedy can be an important player in this most important battle.

Restless Legs sufferer Bradley Gillespie, PharmD, is trained as a clinical pharmacist and has practiced in an industrial setting for the past 20-plus years. Currently, he supports efforts at the National Institutes of Health to develop therapeutics for rare and neglected diseases. He remains a registered pharmacist and operates a medical writing business.