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Varicose veins may lead to blood clot and vascular diseases over time

New Delhi, 04 March 2018:* A study published in the journal JAMA, has
found that adults with varicose veins may be at increased risk of suffering
from blood clot that could lead to vascular diseases. It has indicated that
such people are also at a five times increased risk of developing a deep
venous thrombosis (DVT) -- a clot in the legs which can lead to amputation
or even death.

Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and twisting veins, often appearing
blue or dark purple. They occur when faulty valves in the veins allow blood
to flow in the wrong direction or to pool. The study also indicated that
those with this condition are twice as likely to develop a pulmonary
embolism and are at double the risk of peripheral arterial disease, which
reduces blood flow to the arms and legs.

Speaking about this, *Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart
Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President
Indian Medical Association (IMA), *said, "Any vein can become varicose.
However, the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet.
This is because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the
veins of your lower body. Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of
other circulatory problems. Presence of varicose veins, often seen as
tortuous veins on the legs on the surface of the skin can also cause edema
due to the increase in the pressures in the column of blood in the vessels.
This is often seen after pregnancy or in Rickshaw pullers."

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they're smaller. They are
found closer to the skin's surface and are often red or blue. They occur on
the legs but can also be found on the face. Spider veins vary in size and
often look like a spider's web.

Adding further, *Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP*, said,
"Extremely painful ulcers may form on the skin near varicose veins,
particularly near the ankles. Ulcers are caused by long-term fluid build-up
in these tissues, caused by increased pressure of blood within affected
veins. Occasionally, veins very close to the skin may burst. This usually
causes only minor bleeding which may need urgent medical attention."

There is a lack of awareness in many people about this condition. What is
alarming is that this is an under treated disease. Lack of timely treatment
can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, venous ulcers, eczema, cosmetic
disfigurement, and systemic hypertension.

Some self-help measures can help in preventing varicose veins.

- Stimulate blood circulation in your legs by taking regular walks.
- It is important to lose that excess weight to avoid pressure on the
legs. Follow a low-salt diet to prevent swelling caused from water
- Low-heeled help exercise the calf muscles more and are hence, better
for the veins. Avoid wearing clothes that are tight around the waist, legs,
or groin.
- Take short breaks between work to elevate your legs above the level of
your heart. You can lie down with your legs resting on three or four
- Avoid sitting or standing for long. Change your position frequently to
encourage blood flow.

by: Dr K K Aggarwal

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