A new study suggests that varicose veins is linked to a five-fold increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a condition which is potentially fatal.
Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) involved 425,968 Taiwanese adults over the age of 20 with and without varicose veins. The group were followed up for an average of 7-and-a-half years, making it a good long-term study of the link between varicose veins and DVT.
- Varicose vein sufferers were 5.3 times more likely to get deep vein thrombosis
- This supports previous research – a German study put the link at 7 times more likely
- People with varicose veins were also almost twice as likely to get a clot on the lung
- Varicose veins were also linked to double the risk of ‘peripheral artery disease’ – a circulatory problem which reduces blood flow
The researchers said:
“Patients with varicose veins have increased levels of inflammatory and pro-thrombotic markers. Varicose veins are rarely associated with serious health risks. In contrast DVT, pulmonary embolism and peripheral arterial disease are vascular diseases that are associated with serious systemic effects.
“Whether the association between varicose veins and DVT is causal or represents a common set of risk factors requires further research.”
(source: JAMA medical journal)
One possible explanation put forward is that people with varicose veins have increased levels of inflammation or blood clotting abnormalities, but further research is required to understand how the two conditions are linked.
DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis in itself is relatively common, affecting around 1 in 1,000 people in the UK each year. DVT is where a blood clot forms in one of the body’s deep veins. It usually affects the legs.
The risk or concern is where a blood clot breaks free, travels to the lungs and blocks a vessel. This is called a pulmonary embolism. It causes breathlessness and chest pain and can be fatal.
About 25,000 people in the UK die from a blood clot in a vein every year. This condition is also the third leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Anybody suffering from Varicose Veins is therefore advised to be aware of and more alert for the signs of DVT, which is potentially fatal.
Symptoms of DVT
- pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs (usually the lower leg/calf area)
- heavy ache feeling
- warm/red skin in the area of the clot
Varicose Vein Treatment
Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer private EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) laser varicose vein removal at their London vein treatment centre with a renowned vascular surgeon with prices starting at £1,650 per leg (1 vein).
For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.