Risk factors for chronic venous disease: the San Diego Population Study.J Vasc Surg. 2007 Aug; 46(2):331-7.JV
The etiology of chronic venous disease in the lower limbs is unclear, and very limited data are available on potential risk factors from representative population studies.
Participants in the San Diego Population Study, a free-living adult population randomly selected from age, sex, and ethnic strata, were systematically assessed for risk factors for venous disease. Categorization of normal, moderate, and severe disease was determined hierarchically through clinical examination and ultrasonography imaging by trained vascular technologists, who also performed anthropometric measures. An interviewer administered a questionnaire and an examination assessed potential risk factors for venous disease suggested by previous reports.
In multivariable models, moderate venous disease was independently related to age, a family history of venous disease, previous hernia surgery, and normotension in both sexes. In men, current walking, the absence of cardiovascular disease, and not moving after sitting were also predictive. Additional predictors in women were weight, number of births, oophorectomy, flat feet, and not sitting. For severe disease, age, family history of venous disease, waist circumference, and flat feet were predictive in both sexes. In men, occupation as a laborer, cigarette smoking, and normotension were also independently associated with severe venous disease. Additional significant and independent predictors in women were hours standing, history of leg injury, number of births, and cardiovascular disease, but African American ethnicity was protective. Multiple other postulated risk factors for venous disease were not significant in multivariable analysis in this population.
Although some risk factors for venous disease such as age, family history of venous disease, and findings suggestive of ligamentous laxity (hernia surgery, flat feet) are immutable, others can be modified, such as weight, physical activity, and cigarette smoking. Overall, these data provide modest support for the potential of behavioral risk-factor modification to prevent chronic venous disease.