Varicose Veins: A Genetically Predisposed Condition?

Are varicose veins a genetic problem?

Varicose veins are a chronic vein problem in which the veins of the lower limbs are affected, causing symptoms such as pain, muscle cramps, swelling, bleeding, and in serious cases; skin ulcers. The appearance of varicose veins is caused by a range of genetic and environmental risk factors such as family history, age, gender, lifestyle and leg trauma. Even when a person is not exposed to the environmental risk factors, research has shown genetics can play a role in the development of vein disease. A person’s risk of varicose veins increases if a close family member suffers or had suffered from it.

A scientific study was conducted where 134 families were examined: 67 patients and their parents, and 67 controls and their parents. A total of 402 subjects were examined. The study showed that the risk of developing varicose veins for the children was 90% when both parents suffered from this disease, 25% for males and 62% for females when one parent was affected, and 20% when neither parent was affected.

These figures suggest this disease is greatly influenced by genetics.  It also shows that everyone has a risk for developing varicose veins even if they don’t have a close family member with the diseases. This is why people should still take precaution to lower their environmental risk such as; making sure they live a healthy active lifestyle and balancing the amount of standing and sitting for long periods of time.

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