Varicose veins may increase risk of blood clots, lead to vascular diseases

Mar 02, 2018, 02:24
Varicose veins may increase risk of blood clots, lead to vascular diseases

DVT was 5.30-fold more likely (95% CI 5.05-5.56) among the patients with varicose veins than in a matched control group, with incidence of 6.55 versus 1.23 per 1,000 person-years, Pei-Chun Chen, PhD, and colleagues of China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, and colleagues reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Not much is known about varicose veins and the risk of other vascular diseases", Chang said.

Having varicose veins may increase the risk of a potentially serious condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a new study suggests. However, the association to these conditions was "less clear due to the potential for confounding", by factors such as smoking history or obesity - information not available in the claims data. The varicose veins group and the control group contained patients of similar mean age (54.5 and 54.3 years, respectively) and sex (69.3% women and 70.3% women, respectively).

Response: Varicose veins are not merely cosmetic or symptomatic concern. Piazza, who was not involved in the research, explained that the researchers "undertook several additional statistical techniques" to weaken possible confounding factors that might bias the results, and "these steps help to build a case for the study observations being robust". Typically, there are a number of reasons why someone could develop varicose veins. Moreover, patients with chronic venous diseases have increased leukocyte adhesion and more activated leukocytes. Due to the association with increasing risk of more serious diseases, patients with varicose vein may warrant careful monitoring and early evaluation.

Whether varicose veins cause these other conditions or share the same cause "remains the focus of ongoing research studies", he said. Benefits associated with varicose vein treatment providing effectiveness of cost and time, low risk of postoperative complications and, painless procedure is expected to augment the growth of global varicose vein treatment over the forecast period.

The study was supported by grants from Chang Gung Medical Research Program, and from the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology.

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