Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Environmental risks for vein disease

There are a number of risk factors for vein problems. Aging is one of the leading risk factors for the development of vein issues. Heredity is another. (If one parent has vein disease you have about a 33% chance of also developing vein problems. If both of your parents have vein issues, then your chances go up to 90 percent.)

While aging and family history are risk factors that can’t be controlled (try as we might), venous disease can be aggravated by environmental risks. It is much more common in “industrial countries” like the U.S., where riding in cars and sitting in front of a computer or television seem like a way of life.
We explored the risks involved in sitting in a previous post, but standing for long periods (with or without high heels) is also a risk factor. Research has shown that the more hours one stands, the more likely it is that a vein issue will develop. Likewise, lying in one position for too long can cause serious vein problems. Patients in the hospital or on bed rest, for example, may experience a slowdown in blood flow that can lead to blood pooling in the extremities.

As Dr. Asbjornsen explained in her chapter “Risk Factors and Other Causes for Vein Problems” in the book Healthy Veins…Healthy Legs, it is possible to reduce some risk factors for vein disease.

There are many treatment options today that are minimally invasive and highly successful, but education and prevention are the most important keys to vein health. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, a venous screening can evaluate the condition of your venous system, help you avoid blood clots, and help you begin lifestyle changes that can prevent symptoms from occurring. 

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