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'RLS could increase risk of stroke'

'RLS could increase risk of stroke'
11th January 2008

People with restless leg syndrome (RLS) are twice as likely to have a stroke as those without, according to new research.

A study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology questioned 3,433 people, a number of whom were diagnosed with RLS, about whether they had been diagnosed with a variety of illnesses including cardiovascular disease.

It was found that people with RLS were more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease.

Study author Dr John Winkelman said: "The association of RLS with heart disease and stroke was strongest in those people who had RLS symptoms at least 16 times per month."

"There was also an increased risk among people who said their RLS symptoms were severe compared to those with less bothersome symptoms," he continued.

According to NHS Direct, over 1.5 million people in the UK have restless leg syndrome.

The condition tends to affect people as they get older.

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