Varicose veins are a common vascular disease. About a quarter of adults in the United States have them. Patients affected by varicose veins exhibit symptoms as a result of chronic venous insufficiency, a condition where blood flow through your veins is inadequate.

Risk factors for varicose veins can be acquired or inherited. Some of the environmental risk factors include age, pregnancy, obesity, sex, lifestyle, and occupation. A family history of varicose veins is an inherited risk factor.

Do Genetics Contribute to Varicose Veins?

Many patients who have varicose veins are reported to have a family history of the condition. The significance of genetic factor in the development of varicose veins is interpreted in different ways. Some of these include:

Obesity is linked to genetic factors because it is associated with social eating habits. An obese individual has a higher risk of having varicose veins due to increased pressure in the lower limbs. Plus, the fat tissues in obese individuals deliver certain proteins such as plasminogen activator inhibitor that can contribute to vein lesions.

Epidemiological Surveys
The role of genetics in the development of varicose veins is based heavily on epidemiological surveys. In one survey, it shows that up to 17 percent of patients with varicose veins have a first degree relative with the vascular disease.

Inherited Metabolic Disorders
There are inherited metabolic disorders that can lead to chronic venous disease. These include hyperhomocysteinemia (abnormally high levels of homocysteine in the blood) and having an increased collagen type 1 in the vein wall and the skin.

What to do if you’re at risk

Varicose veins are results of both hereditary and environmental factors. Even if you have a family history of the condition, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it.

Making healthier lifestyle choices like having regular physical activity and keeping a healthy weight can make a difference in preventing the occurrence of varicose veins

However, oftentimes varicose veins are not preventable. If you notice that your veins appear dark purple or blue, bulging, and you feel ‘heaviness’ and throbbing sensation on your legs, it may be time to seek medical attention.

At Premier Vein Clinics in Knoxville, our vein experts can assess your condition and help you determine whether these signs and symptoms are caused by varicose veins. We offer minimally invasive procedures to help the symptoms and appearance of varicose. Request a free vein screening online, or call us at 865-588-8229 today.