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International Angiology 2004 March;23(1):29-34


lingua: Inglese

Risk factors for varicose veins

Kroeger K. 1, Ose C. 2, Rudofsky G. 1, Roesener J. 2, Hirche H. 2

1 Department of Angiology, University of Essen, Essen, Germany 2 Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University of Essen, Essen, Germany


Aim. To deter­mine the prev­a­lence of var­i­cose veins in the Ger­man pop­u­la­tion and spec­i­fy pos­sible risk fac­tors the data of the Dues­sel­dorf/Essen civil ser­vants study were ana­lysed.
Meth­ods. From Decem­ber 1989 to July 1993 a total of 9 935 employ­ees were recruit­ed. All vol­un­teers ­filled out a ques­tion­naire regard­ing fam­i­liy his­to­ry and risk fac­tors and were clin­i­cal­ly exam­ined. ­Venous find­ings were clas­si­fied and adapt­ed to the CEAP-clas­sifi­ca­tion. For the anal­y­sis of risk fac­tors only vol­un­teers clas­si­fied as CEAP-class 0 or as CEAP-class II were con­sid­ered: 4 250 men, 10% ­belonged to CEAP-class II and 2 380 women includ­ing 16% CEAP-class II.
­Results. In gen­er­al, age and gen­der were the most rel­e­vant risk fac­tors for var­i­cose veins. Odds ratio age: male: 3.4 (95%-CI: 2.6-4.4), age ­female 6.5 (95%-CI: 5.0-8.5), gen­der 2.3 (95%-CI 1.9-2.7). In addi­tion in ­females the most fre­quent risk fac­tors were oral con­tra­cep­tion and in both gen­ders a pre­dom­i­nate­ly sit­ting pos­ture at work. Regard­ing the fam­i­ly his­to­ry, var­i­cose veins by the moth­er was most fre­quent com­pared to var­i­cose veins by the ­father or both. After adjust­ing for age and gen­der herid­ity ­became the most impor­tant risk fac­tor with an odds ratio of 5.2 (95%-CI:3.7-7.3-4.50) in case of var­i­cose veins ­present in both par­ents, fol­lowed by a stand­ing pos­ture at work 2.2 (95%-CI: 1.2-3.9). In con­trast, smok­ing also ­reached a sig­nif­i­cant level, but with a ­decreased odds ratio of 0.66 (95%-CI: 0.57-0.77) indi­cat­ing a pro­tec­tive ­effect.
Con­clu­sion. In addi­tion to age and gen­der a fam­i­ly his­to­ry of var­i­cose veins is the most impor­tant risk fac­tor in the total pop­u­la­tion. ­Despite sig­nif­i­cant influ­ence of other risk fac­tors their rel­e­vance for var­i­cose veins in the inves­ti­gat­ed pop­u­la­tion is low ­either due to low fre­quen­cies or low odds ­ratios.

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