Arterial disease but not hypertension predisposes to varicose veins

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The aim of the study was to find out if persons with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) (arterial disease or hypertension) have additional risk of varicose veins (VV) compared with those without arterial disease (AD) or hypertension.


We studied, using a validated questionnaire, the prevalence and incidence of VVs in those with and without CVD in a population of 4903 including 40-, 50- and 60-year-old men and women in Tampere, Finland. During the five years of follow-up, we had a special interest on the appearance of new VVs in those without VVs at entry (n = 3065).


We found a higher prevalence of VVs in persons with CVD than in those without CVD (with sex and age adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.3 [95% confidence interval, CI 1.1–1.5]). The prevalence of VVs was higher in persons with AD (OR 1.7 [CI 1.4–2.2]), but not in persons with hypertension (OR 1.1 [CI 0.9–1.2]) than in those who were free of AD or hypertension, respectively. Subjects with AD had higher incidence of VVs (incidence odds ratio, IOR 1.4 [CI 0.8–2.7]) than subjects without AD and the effect was statistically significant in women (IOR 2.2 [CI 1.1–4.5]). Also the incidence of VVs was more affected by AD than by hypertension (IOR 1.1 [CI 0.7–1.8]).


There seems to exist a relatively strong additional risk of VVs in persons with AD and practically none in those with hypertension compared to those without.

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