There are several risk factors that increase your chance of developing varicose veins. Obviously, being a woman increases your chance since pregnancy and hormones are one of the main causes of varicose veins. Several other risk factors are family history of varicose veins, standing for a long time on a regular basis, and being overweight. In addition, age is a major risk factor and cause of varicose veins.
A Answers (5)
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
Luis Navarro, MD, Vascular Medicine, answered
If you have a predisposition toward developing varicose veins, certain factors greatly increase your risk. In this video, vein specialist Luis Navarro, MD, explains the circumstances that can bring this problem on.
Factors that increase your risk of developing varicose veins include:
- Pregnancy (particularly repeated pregnancies).
- Being female.
- Advancing age.
- Being overweight (tends to be a stronger factor in women). Having low muscle mass and high body fat decreases the support for the veins.
- Family history of varicose veins.
- Prolonged sitting or standing.
- Conditions that increase pressure in the abdomen, such as liver disease, fluid in the abdomen, previous groin surgery or heart failure.
- Injury to the veins.
- Blood clots.
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John Lipman, Interventional Radiology, answered
The following are risk factors for varicose veins:
1. Female sex: Women are several times more likely to suffer with varicose veins. Female hormones relax vein walls which can lead to varicose veins. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause may increase a woman's risk. Taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy may also increase her risk.
2. Age: Vein valves weaken with age.
3. Family history: Having family members with varicose veins increases your risk.
4. Obesity: Added weight places an additional burden on veins which can lead to valve failure. This additional refluxing blood downstream causes the vein to dilate and become varicose.
5. Occupational: Jobs which require a person to be on their feet a lot place additional pressure on the veins of the legs to work harder to pump the venous blood back to the heart.
Varicose veins occur in both men and women, but are more common in women for various reasons including pregnancy and hormonal changes. Other risk factors include a family history of varicose veins, standing for long periods of time and being overweight. This is a progressive condition and varicosities can get worse as one gets older.