Hunt Regional

Risk Factors for Venous Disease

Venous disease is a common disorder that affects the veins in the legs because of damaged valves and backward blood flow. There are a number of risk factors associated with venous disease – some that can be controlled and some that cannot. These risk factors include:

  • Family History: Heredity is the number one risk factor for venous disease. For example, if your parents had varicose veins, you have an 89% chance of developing them.
  • Gender: Women are three times more likely than men to develop venous disease. In addition, pregnant women are also at an increased risk due to all of the hormonal changes that occur during this time.
  • Age: The risk of developing venous disease increases with age, so older individuals are at a higher risk. However, it can start as early as childhood.
  • History of Blood Clots: Even after they have dissolved, blood clots (also referred to as deep vein thrombosis) can cause permanent damage to the vein or valves.
  • Extended Periods of Standing or Sitting: The muscles in your legs keep the blood flowing away from your legs and towards your heart. However, prolonged periods of time without walking can decrease the movement of blood throughout your legs, causing the blood to pool as well as increased blood pressure.
  • Obesity: Being overweight can put an increased amount of pressure on your veins.

If you think you’re at risk of venous disease, you should consult your physician as soon as possible for an official diagnosis. You can also take a vein self-assessment to gather more information prior to an office visit. Depending on your type of vein condition and its severity, treatment may be recommended to relieve symptoms and avoid further complications.


Prevention is always the first line of defense, especially for those who have risk factors. You can reduce your chances of developing a vein condition by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising on a regular basis
  • Not smoking
  • Not standing or sitting for extended periods of time

And for some people who do develop a condition, the continuous use of compression stockings is enough to keep it under control. However, when the pain and inflammation of veins persists, medical intervention may become necessary.

If you’re interested in testing at the vascular lab at Hunt Regional, ask your doctor for a referral.

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