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Varicose Vein Disease Quick Facts

  • It is estimated that 25 million Americans have varicose veins.1
  • The primary cause of vein disease is heredity.2
  • Hormones play a secondary role in the development of vein disease.3
  • Larger varicose veins will frequently produce fewer symptoms than smaller ones.
  • Most leg ulcers are secondary to venous disease.4
  • 25-30 percent of the people who present with varicose vein disease will complain of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
  • Vein disease is chronic, progressive and often invisible to the naked eye.

Venous disease is extremely common and increases with age, being present in more than half the population by the time they reach 65 years of age. The most common type is venous insufficiency, and the most visible manifestations are varicose veins and telangiectasias (spider veins), with other cutaneous and soft tissue abnormalities developing over time.

Most patients with chronic venous disorders have subjective symptoms that may be very mild or very severe. Treatment aims to correct the underlying defect by closing down segments of reflux that can prevent venous blood from returning to the central circulation.

1 Source: Brand FN, Dannenberg AL, Abbott RD, Kannel WB. The epidemiology of varicose veins: the Framingham Study. Am J Prev Med. 1988 Mar-Apr;4(2):96-101.

2 Sources: Cornu-Thenard, A. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1994; 20(5): 318-26.U.S. Depart of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health

3 Sources: U.S. Depart of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health

4 Source: Callam MJ, Harper DR, Dale JJ, et al. Arterial disease in chronic leg ulceration: an underestimated hazard? Lothian and Forth Valley leg ulcer study. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294:929-931.