Vein Disease Causes and Risk Factors

Chances are, if your parents had varicose veins, you will too.

Genetics are the main cause of vein disease – but lifestyle is a factor, too. Do any of these apply to you?

  • Age: Varicose veins usually appear between ages 30 and 70. And once they appear, they get progressively worse.
  • Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop vein disease, especially women who have had children. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menses can be a factor, as hormones relax vein walls. Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills may also increase the risk.
  • Pregnancy: Venous disease tends to worsen with multiple pregnancies.
  • Obesity: Extra weight increases pressure within your veins, which increases the risk of developing venous disease. Long Periods of Standing: When you’re constantly on your feet in the same position for long periods of time, it inhibits efficient venous drainage and can cause stagnant flow of blood in your veins.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: A lifestyle without physical activity also inhibits good circulation both in your veins and arteries – including your heart.
  • Family History: This is the best predictor of venous reflux disease.

Other causes and risk factors include:

  • Prior history of blood clots in the veins
  • Trauma
  • Surgery
  • Oral contraceptives