A recent study published in the Journal of American Medicine suggested that varicose veins may be an early warning sign of potentially life-threatening blood clots in the deep venous system. Varicose veins can be caused by weakening in the blood vessel walls and valves and have traditionally been thought to be common and rarely associated with serious health risks. By contrast, other vascular diseases such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in the lungs, can have detrimental and life-threatening consequences. The study examined the potential connection between varicose veins and other vascular diseases and found some interesting relationships. People with varicose veins had about a 5 times greater risk of developing DVT’s than those that did not and had slightly 2 times greater chance of developing pulmonary emboli.
The key take away from this study is that varicose veins may not be a merely cosmetic or aesthetic concern and that there may be a deeper issue that warrants assessment and careful monitoring. Because varicose veins are so common in our patient population and an underdiagnosed condition, it is something that we have routinely begun checking for and talking about.
If you have questions or are concerned about your varicose veins, visit Oahu Spine and Rehab for a complimentary vein assessment today!