People with restless leg syndrome (RLS) have an uncontrollable urge to move their legs. The condition is considered both a sensorimotor disorder and a sleep disorder because the sensations can be strong enough to interrupt sleep. It’s an irritating condition for sure, but new evidence suggests that it might also be an indicator of poor heart health.
RLS and the Heart
Experts believe that up to 29 percent of people in the U.S. suffer from RLS. There is currently no cure for the condition, which affects older adults and women most often. Researchers are working to learn more about RLS, and a recent study revealed new information that links RLS to a risk for death from a cardiovascular disease.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University looked at information on more than 57,000 women that had been gathered during another study. The women involved were an average age of 67 and were basically healthy, having not been diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, or renal failure. The women were followed for 10 years and responded to a questionnaire about any medical conditions, RLS, and their lifestyles.
During the study, 6,488 of the women died. When researchers analyzed the data, they discovered that women with RLS had a 43 percent higher chance of dying from a cardiovascular disease.
Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
If your aging family member has RLS, it may be a good idea to talk to their doctor about their risks for cardiovascular disease. You may also wish to help them take steps to improve their heart health. Some things that can help are:
- Quit Smoking: Tobacco use is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. If your loved one smokes, encourage them to quit. Talk to their doctor about smoking cessation strategies. A senior care provider can help them to stick to the plan the doctor suggests.
- Eat a Healthy Diet: Following a heart healthy diet that includes vegetables, fruit, and whole grains can improve heart health. The diet should also include lean proteins and low-fat dairy products. A senior care provider can help plan healthy meals, take the older adult shopping for ingredients, and help with meal preparation.
- Exercise: Physical activity not only reduces risks for heart disease, it also helps with weight management. A senior care provider can help by going for walks with your family member, driving them to exercise classes, or monitoring their exercise at home.
- Regular Checkups: Make sure the senior goes to the doctor regularly and is screened for heart-related problems.
Knowing that RLS is associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular-related death can help you to assist them with taking steps toward better heart health. Senior care can be useful in assisting the person to eat better, stay physically active, and stop smoking.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME SENIOR CARE IN BUCKEYE, AZ, CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY (623) 748-3301.