Varicose veins can increase the risk of developing deep venous thrombosis (DVT), reveals a new study.
Varicose veins are common, with about 23 percent of U.S. adults having the condition, but they are rarely associated with serious health risks.
Not much is known about varicose veins and the risk of other vascular diseases including DVT, pulmonary embolism (PE) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
The study measured varicose veins (exposure); risk of developing DVT, PE and PAD in people with and without varicose veins (outcomes).
This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control all the natural differences that could explain study findings.
The authors of the study were Pei-Chun Chen, Ph.D., China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, and coauthors.
Varicose veins were associated with increased risk of DVT but more research is needed to understand whether that association is causal or if it reflects a common set of risk factors.
Findings about potential associations between varicose veins and risk of PE and PAD were less clear because of possible confounding factors.
Claims data do not include information for patients who do not seek medical care; study results may reflect only the risk among patients with more severe varicose veins requiring medical treatment.