Varicosis: Large people are more likely to develop varicose veins

Varicosis: Large people are more likely to develop varicose veins

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Varicose veins are more common in tall people

The bigger a person is, the more likely they are to have varicose veins. This is the result of a US study that examined the genes of more than 400,000 people.

Widespread clinical picture

Varicose veins are widespread: "Around the age of 25 to 74 years, about every 2nd European has varicose veins (varicose veins)," explains the German Society for Vascular Surgery and Vascular Medicine (DGG) on its website. Although the disease can become life-threatening in extreme cases, such as deep venous thrombosis (DVT), surprisingly little is still known about it. A US research team has now gained more knowledge about the disease and, among other things, also found that height is a risk factor.

Causes of varicose veins

According to the DGG, a major cause of varicose veins is the inherited weakness of the connective tissue with a weakening of the vein wall and the venous valves and the resulting reflux of the blood into the superficial and deep leg veins.

According to the experts, this suffering is mainly promoted by obesity, a lot of standing work in certain professions, pregnancy and lack of exercise.

In a recent study, researchers from the School of Medicine at Stanford University in the US state of California also looked at the causes of varicose veins.

"We have confirmed that deep vein thrombosis increases risk," said Nicholas Leeper of Stanford University in a statement.

However, according to recent research results, the reverse also applies: "Varicose veins pose a risk for these blood clots," says the study author.

The study also confirmed that leg surgery, family history, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and hormone therapy are risk factors.

However, they also identified a previously unknown risk factor: height.

Body size identified as a risk factor

As the scientists found in the study, which was published in the journal "Circulation", older people develop varicose veins much more often than smaller ones.

To get their results, the researchers examined the genes of more than 400,000 people. The data came from the UK "UK Biobank".

"Our results strongly suggest that size is a cause, not just a correlated factor, but an underlying mechanism that leads to varicose veins," said co-author Erik Ingelsson.

According to the experts, 74 percent of the tallest people fell ill more often than the quarter of the smallest people. Height was said to be the fifth most important risk factor.

The study also identified 30 genes associated with varicose vein disease and a strong genetic correlation with deep vein thrombosis.

Hope for new therapies

Although varicose veins are incredibly common, only "shockingly little is known about biology," said medical student Alyssa Flores.

"There are no medical therapies that can prevent or reverse them as soon as they are there," continued the study author.

Treatment is mainly limited to surgical interventions such as laser treatments.

"We hope that we can use this new information to develop new therapies," said the scientist. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Not A Superficial Problem: Varicose Veins u0026 Chronic Venous Disease (January 2023).