A study conducted by the scientists at the US-based Stanford University suggests a link between a person’s height and risks of varicose veins. The study in question was based on a substantial cohort, as the researchers analyzed the data of more than 400,000 people.
For Erik Ingelsson, the co-author of the study, the “results strongly suggest that height is a cause, not just a correlated factor, but also an underlying mechanism leading to the development of varicose veins.”
More than the simple aesthetic disturbances caused by these swollen veins that appear just under the skin, varicose veins can also cause intense pain and even thrombosis. While it is already known that varicose veins affect mostly females, pregnant women, overweight or elderly populations, in particular, researchers have observed other factors such as leg surgery, family history, lack of physical activity, smoking, or hormone therapy.
A person’s height influences the risk of varicose veins, but the genetic factor should not be overlooked
The new study, conducted by Stanford University, in the US, revealed that height is influencing the risk of varicose veins, but that’s not all.
“Not only that we have found an association between height and varicose veins, but the genetic studies we have done have shown a causal link. This suggests that the genes and genetic pathways that determine human height are also likely to cause varicose veins,” said Nicholas Leeper, another co-author of this new study.
Currently, laser surgery or compression stockings are the only conventional therapeutic approaches to tackle varicose veins. Alyssa Flores, who also participated in the research, concludes that “this disease is incredibly prevalent but surprisingly little is known about its origins. We hope that with this new information, we can develop new therapies, as our study highlights several genes that may represent new translational targets.”