Who’s at Risk?
A variety of risk factors may contribute to a person developing vein disease.
Some are unavoidable, such as age and genetics, but other health and lifestyle elements may also lead to vascular conditions, such as varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency. Venous reflux disease, also known as chronic venous insufficiency, affects more than 30 million Americans.
These symptoms can occur at any age, but age is a risk factor. In fact, these symptoms are most common in people over 40. While people often attribute their symptoms to “getting old,” they are not inevitable! Certain conditions may develop as you age, but modern medical science has produced new treatments that can improve your quality of life over time.
The older you are, the more likely it is that you will be affected. An one in three Americans over the age of 45 have some form of vascular disease. As we age, our bodies experience a certain amount of wear and tear. This includes increased stress on the valves in your veins that regulate the flow of blood. When these valves don’t work as well as they should, blood can flow backwards into your leg veins and collect there instead of returning to your heart.
If your parents have a history of varicose veins or other vascular issues, there is a good chance that you will as well.
Vein disease can happen to anyone, but statistically speaking, women are more likely to experience issues. Up to 75 percent of women may develop some form of vascular disease in their lives. Changes in hormone levels, such as the ones occurring during pregnancy or the menstrual cycle, weaken vein walls and the valves. The risk also may be increased by using hormone replacement therapy or hormonal birth control.
In addition to the hormonal factors involved, the physical stress of pregnancy can also contribute to developing varicose veins. About 30 percent of women will develop varicose veins during their first pregnancy. Subsequent pregnancies increase this risk to 55 percent.
Being overweight or obese puts additional pressure on your veins, and the risk may increase over time.
If you don’t get much physical activity, your blood won’t be sufficiently circulated from your feet and legs to your heart. People with jobs that involve standing or sitting in one place for long periods of time also have an increased risk of developing vein disease. Physical trauma and certain medications also increase your risk for vein disease. Treating vein disease early can prevent further damage and the onset of serious problems such as swelling, skin changes and ulcerations. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our expert physicians today.
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