Prospective Study of Restless Legs Syndrome and Coronary Heart Disease Among Women
Background—Previous cross-sectional studies suggested a positive association between restless legs syndrome (RLS) and coronary heart disease (CHD). This observation was not confirmed by subsequent prospective studies. However, these prospective studies did not take into account the duration of RLS symptoms. We thus prospectively examined whether RLS was associated with an increased risk of CHD in women who participated in the Nurses' Health Study taking into account the duration of RLS symptoms.
Methods and Results—A total of 70, 694 women (mean age 67 years) who were free of CHD and stroke at baseline (2002) were followed until 2008. Physician-diagnosed RLS was collected via questionnaire. CHD was defined as nonfatal myocardial infarction or fatal CHD. Women with RLS at baseline had a marginally higher risk of developing CHD (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 1.46; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.97-2.18) as compared with women without RLS. The risk was dependent on duration of symptoms-0.98 (95% CI, 0.44-2.19) for women with RLS less than three years and 1.72 (95% CI, 1.09-2.73) for women with RLS for three years or longer (P trend=0.03). The multivariable-adjusted HRs of women with RLS for three years or longer were 1.80 (95%CI, 1.07-3.01) for nonfatal myocardial infarction and 1.49 (95%CI, 0.55-4.04) for fatal CHD, relative to women without RLS.
Conclusions—We observed that women with RLS for at least three years had an elevated risk of CHD. These results suggest that RLS or RLS associated conditions may contribute to the etiology of cardiovascular disease.
- Received April 18, 2012.
- Accepted August 27, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited