Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins refer to a vascular condition in which veins, usually in the legs, appear to bulge out of the skin. This occurs because of a malfunction in a valve within the blood vessel that allows blood to flow backward. Then the blood pools, resulting in this swollen appearance.

This vein disorder can form in anyone, though certain qualities can make you more prone to this problem.

When you know if you have a higher chance of developing a vein disease, you can seek preventative care from your vascular doctor.

Read on to find four factors that could heighten an individual’s risk of forming varicose veins.

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Older Age

When we age, the walls of the blood vessels will lose flexibility. This stiffening effect can make it more difficult for blood to flow where it needs to through the veins. This heightened blood pressure can strain your circulatory system. It can then be more likely that a valve will stop working, impacting blood flow and giving you varicose veins.

You cannot stop yourself from aging, but you might also take note of your family’s medical history. Varicose veins can be inherited, so if your relatives have suffered from this disease, you might too.

Lack of Physical Activity

Your doctor will recommend that you exercise regularly to keep your heart and vascular system healthy. This will help you reduce your risk for varicose veins too. When you are inactive, your blood flow will slow down if you remain at rest, and this can cause the veins to dilate. This allows blood to collect within the veins, resulting in this swelling and bulging appearance.

If you suffer an injury in the leg that restricts your movement, you might have a heightened risk for varicose veins too. Talk to your doctor to find healthy ways for you to stay active and keep your circulatory system functioning as it should.


Pregnant individuals can experience a higher risk of forming varicose veins. This is because the hormones in the body during this period can relax the blood vessels, allowing the blood to pool and therefore swell.

Patients who have formed varicose veins during pregnancy before hold a high likelihood of getting them again during their next pregnancy. You can discuss preventative measures to keep your veins healthy during pregnancy with your doctor. Though women can have a higher chance of forming varicose veins, men might develop vein problems too.


Smoking introduces many toxins into the body that can cause major health problems, including for your circulatory system. Smoke can weaken the vein walls and damage valves, leading to disorders like varicose veins. It can also lead to a narrowing effect in the veins, which will increase blood pressure and further put you at risk of vein diseases.

Quitting smoking can help you prevent many medical issues, and it can lower your risk of developing vein diseases. If you need help kicking this habit, consult with your doctor for advice.