Varicose Vein Risk Factors

Factors, which increase the risk of developing varicose veins and arteries, include:

Age

Venous disease becomes more common as we age. One out of two people age 50 and older are affected with varicose veins. As we get older, our veins start to lose their elasticity, and the valves within them stop working as well.

Gender

Women are more likely to be affected by varicose veins than men. Research suggests that this may be because female hormones promote relaxation of the vein walls, making the valves more prone to insufficiency.

Heredity

You are more likely to develop varicosities if a family member has venous disease.

Obesity

Being severely overweight increases the pressure on your veins requiring them to work harder in order to send blood back to your heart. This can put increased pressure on the valves making them more prone to reflux.

Pregnancy

The amount of blood in a woman’s body increases when pregnant to help support her growing baby. This puts an extra strain on her circulatory system. Additionally, research has shown that the increased hormone levels reached during pregnancy also cause the blood vessels to relax making the valves prone to reflux. As the uterus (womb) starts to grow, the additional pressure on the vessels in the pelvic region can lead to varicose veins. Although being pregnant may increase your risk of developing varicose veins and arteries, most women will find their condition improves considerably after pregnancy.

Occupation

Research suggests that jobs, which require long periods of standing, may increase your risk for varicose veins. When you are standing for long periods of time, blood does not flow as easily from the extremities to the heart.


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