Are Tall People at Greater Risk for Varicose Veins?
By Kevin Edwards, President
Even if you are not certain what varicose veins are, you’ve likely seen them. They are those bulging blue veins that sometimes appear on the legs or other areas of the body. They are more common in older adults. While varicose veins themselves are usually not dangerous, they are unsightly and can cause discomfort and pain.
In some people, they can lead to more serious complications, such as blood clots or bleeding. Varicose veins happen when the valves in the veins that keep blood flowing in the proper direction get weak. This allows blood to flow backward and pool in the vein. There are several risk factors that can increase the chances of varicose veins developing. Recently, a new study indicated that height may be one of them.
About the Study
Researchers wondered whether a person’s height might have anything to do with the development of varicose veins. To find out, they examined the health of around 413,000 people in the United Kingdom. The study participants were all between the ages of 40 and 69. 9,600 of the participants had varicose veins.
The researchers screened for genetic markers. The data they gathered supported known information about risk factors. However, when the researchers sorted the data according to the height of the participants, they discovered a connection between height and varicose veins. People in the tallest 25 percent of the participants had a 74 percent increased risk for varicose veins than those in the shortest 25 percent.
Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
In addition to the possibility of height affecting chances for varicose veins, there are several other risk factors that may affect your aging relative. Risk factors for varicose veins include:
Age: The older a person gets, the more likely they are to get varicose veins. That’s because the veins are affected by the wear and tear of everyday life, which can make valves in the veins weaken.
- Gender: Women get varicose veins more often than men.
- Family History: Having family members with varicose veins increase the likelihood your aging relative will also get them.
- Obesity: Carrying excess weight increases pressure on the veins.
- Staying in One Position Too Long: Standing or sitting for too long can lead to varicose veins because it affects blood flow.
Home care services can help your aging relative to reduce their risks for getting varicose veins. Although there isn’t anything that can be done about age, gender, family history, or height, the other risk factors can be modified. Home care services providers can help overweight older adults to lose some weight by preparing healthy meals full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They can also help the older adult to be more physically active by going for walks with them or driving them to exercise classes. Home care services specialists can also help your aging relative to be more active at home by involving them in household activities, which prevents them from sitting too long.