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International Angiology 2002 March;21(1):86-92


language: English

Chronic venous insufficiency. A common health problem in general practice in Greece

Lionis C. 1, Erevnidou K. 1, 2, Antonakis N. 1, 3, Argyriadou S. 1, 4, Vlachonikolis I. 5, Katsamouris A. 6

1 Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Crete, Greece 2 Venizelio Hospital, Heraklion Crete, Greece 3 Anogia Health Centre, Crete, Greece 4 Health Centre of Chrisoupolis, Macedonia, Greece 5 Laboratory of Biostatistics School of Medicine and 6 Vascular Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Crete, Greece


Background. A study was car­ried out in Greece with the aim of assess­ing the prev­a­lence of chron­ic ­venous insuf­fi­cien­cy (CVI) in Greece and to dis­cuss the role of gen­er­al prac­tice in the epi­dem­i­ol­o­gy, early diag­no­sis, and ­initial man­age­ment of this dis­ease.
Methods. Design: a prev­a­lence study was car­ried out in rural Greece ­between January 17 and December 30, 1997. Setting: 13 GPs, 11 of those work­ing in 13 rural pri­mary ­health cen­ters, 1 in the University Hospital of Heraklion and 1 pri­vate sec­tor from dif­fer­ent Greek dis­tricts were invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate in the study. Participants and meth­ods: ­patients with the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria were ­entered into the study: ­weight, pain, ­cramps, burn­ing, itch­ing, for­mi­ca­tion and swell­ing. Complete infor­ma­tion about ­patients’ his­to­ry was col­lect­ed by the general practitioners (GPs) who used a semi-struc­tured ques­tion­naire. The diag­no­sis of CVI was estab­lished with Doppler ultra­sound.
Results. Data were based on 6,119 ques­tion­naires and GPs ­observed 4,502 ran­dom­ly select­ed ­patients. The diag­no­sis of CVI was estab­lished in 993 ­patients and its prev­a­lence was found to be 11.9% in males and 39.8% in ­females. Varicose veins were the most fre­quent clin­i­cal find­ing in ­patients with vein ­reflux and dia­betes mel­lit­us was the most com­mon co-exist­ing dis­ease in males and hyper­ten­sion in ­females.
Conclusions. The prev­a­lence of ­venous insuf­fi­cien­cy (VI) ­appears to be a fre­quent ­health prob­lem in gen­er­al prac­tice in Greece. It ­requires fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion in order to ­explore the ­observed dif­fer­enc­es ­between var­i­ous ­groups.

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