Varicose veins primary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Varicose veins are linked to several risk factors. Some of these risk factors can be avoidable while some are not. Age, gender, hormones, family history are unavoidable risk factors. There is not much that can be done about the. However, Obesity, prolonged standing, etc are some risk factors that can be avoided or managed.

It has been known that being overweight is a risk factor to not only varicose veins[1] but also a host of other diseases(eg. atherosclerosis[2], Diabetes[3], hypertension[4], several cancers[5]) as well. Thus, weight loss and having an active lifestyle is one of the best steps can take in the direction of being healthy life. Diet is a crucial part of weight loss, which is often neglected by people. a healthy a balanced diet accompanied by regular exercise can do wonders for our fitness. Being physically active also help us avoid another disk factor which is, standing still for prolonged period of time. Sometimes our work, such as being as salesman, requires us to stand for prolonged periods of time. This can be avoided by taking short breaks/walks at fixed time intervals. It will help take the pressure off of the venous valves by emptying the veins at regular intervals.

Sometimes, abdominal masses(such as a tumor) can put pressure on the major veins, thus increasing the pressure in the veins of lower limbs. This, in the long term, can lead to the development of venous incompetence/varicose veins. This can be avoided by getting regular health checkups.


  1. Iannuzzi A, Panico S, Ciardullo AV, Bellati C, Cioffi V, Iannuzzo G; et al. (2002). "Varicose veins of the lower limbs and venous capacitance in postmenopausal women: relationship with obesity". J Vasc Surg. 36 (5): 965–8. doi:10.1067/mva.2002.128315. PMID 12422106.
  2. Irace C, Scavelli F, Carallo C, Serra R, Cortese C, Gnasso A (2009). "Body mass index, metabolic syndrome and carotid atherosclerosis". Coron Artery Dis. 20 (2): 94–9. doi:10.1097/MCA.0b013e3283219e76. PMID 19293666.
  3. Al-Goblan AS, Al-Alfi MA, Khan MZ (2014). "Mechanism linking diabetes mellitus and obesity". Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 7: 587–91. doi:10.2147/DMSO.S67400. PMC 4259868. PMID 25506234.
  4. Forman JP, Stampfer MJ, Curhan GC (2009). "Diet and lifestyle risk factors associated with incident hypertension in women". JAMA. 302 (4): 401–11. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1060. PMC 2803081. PMID 19622819.
  5. "Obesity and cancer risk". National cancer Institute.

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