Are varicose veins genetic and what is my risk factor?
Many patients ask us if varicose veins are a genetic condition and research confirms the hereditary aspect of vein problems and varicose disease (Cornu-Thenard, A., et al. Importance of the familial factor in varicose disease, J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1994. 20:318).
If both your parents have varicose veins or have had them, then your risk of developing a vein problem sits at 90%, which means there is a very high chance of having bulging or swollen varicose veins yourself.
What if only one parent had a vein condition?
If only one of your parents has or has had bulging veins, then your own risk of developing varicose veins is 64%, according to the study cited above.
So, even with only one parent suffering from a vein problem, your risk of developing venous reflux and noticing bulging veins is still high.
If vein conditions do not run in your family, or more specifically neither of your parents suffering from vein problems, then your chances of having a vein problem yourself are around 20%, still according to the same study. These numbers allow us to say that there is a genetic factor, and that this will be one of the factors your vein specialist will consider, when looking at early symptoms, or when discussing your treatment options.
So what is the importance of getting an early diagnosis?
Even if the cosmetic side of things does not directly concern you, it is recommended to see your vein specialist at The Vein Clinic to diagnose the potential underlying vein problems. Varicose veins are caused by a malfunction of the valves in your veins, causing your blood to pool. The underlying vein problem often occurs in veins that are not at the surface. This is why we perform a thorough assessment of your personal situation before we make any recommendations about the most appropriate treatment option.
Are men slower to report vein problems?
It has been suggested that men do not necessarily react to a visible vein problem as fast as women. Some studies estimated that 20% of men and 40% of women would develop a venous problem in their lifetime, but this data has been refuted. It was linked to the potential difference in reaction to early symptoms, with men sometimes postponing a check-up until the vein problem has become more severe. Advanced chronic vein disease tends to be more common in men than in women.
At the Perth Vein Clinic, we have a particular expertise in non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments. We use the latest research and the most up-to-date treatment techniques to help our patients get rid of varicose veins and improve their vein health. If you are unsure about the underlying causes of your vein problem, or you want to plan a treatment that will allow you to get back to your day to day life as quickly as possible, please speak to our team and make an appointment at the Vein Clinic Perth, conveniently located next to the Subiaco train station.