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Restless Leg Syndrome Linked to Female Stroke Risk

Update Date: Jun 08, 2015 09:04 PM EDT

Restless leg syndrome is no joke. New research reveals that the sleep disorder could increase the risk of stroke.

The latest study involved data from 72,916 female registered nurses between the ages of 41 and 58 years in 2005. None of the women included in the study were pregnant or suffered diabetes and previous stroke at baseline.

The findings revealed a link between increased restless leg syndrome severity to increased risk of stroke. The findings held true even after researchers accounted for factors like age, smoking, hypertension, and unhealthy diet.

"We were surprised at the importance of taking into account RLS severity -- it was only severe RLS, not milder RLS, that was associated with increased risk of stroke," said principal investigator and senior author Xiang Gao, associate professor and Director, Nutritional Epidemiology Lab, department of Nutritional Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa, said in a news release.

The findings are published in the journal Sleep.

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