Incidence and risk factors for venous reflux in the general population: Edinburgh Vein Study.
OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUNDChronic venous disease (CVD) is common, but the incidence of venous reflux, a precursor to this condition, is unknown. This study measured the incidence of venous reflux and associated risk factors, and examined the association between venous reflux and the incidence of CVD.
METHODSIn the Edinburgh Vein Study, a random sample of 1566 men and women aged 18-64 years were examined at baseline. Eight hundred and eighty of these patients were followed up 13 years and underwent an examination comprising clinical classification of CVD and duplex scanning of the deep and superficial systems to measure venous reflux ≥0.5 s.
RESULTSThe 13-year incidence of reflux was 12.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 9.2-17.2), equivalent to an annual incidence of 0.9% (95% CI 0.7-1.3). The 13-year incidence of isolated superficial, isolated deep, and combined deep and superficial reflux was 8.8% (95% CI 5.6-12.0), 2.6% (95% CI 1.2-5.0), and 1.3% (95% CI 0.4-3.2), respectively. The highest incidence was in the great saphenous vein in the lower thigh (8.1%, 95% CI 5.4-11.8). There were no age or sex differences (p > .050). The risk of developing reflux was associated with being overweight (odds ratio [OR] 2.1, 95% CI 1.0-4.4) and with history of deep vein thrombosis (OR 11.3, 95% CI 1.0-132.3). Venous reflux at baseline was associated with new varicose veins at follow up (p < .001): the age- and sex-adjusted OR was 4.4 (95% CI 1.8-10.8) in those with isolated superficial reflux and 7.3 (95% CI 2.6-22.5) in those with combined deep and superficial reflux.
CONCLUSIONFor every year of follow-up, around 1% of this adult population developed venous reflux. In two thirds of cases, the superficial system was affected. Venous reflux increased the risk of developing varicose veins, especially when combined deep and superficial reflux was present.
Centre for Population Health Sciences, Medical School, Teviot Place, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.,
Centre for Population Health Sciences, Medical School, Teviot Place, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK.,
Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.,
Radiology Department, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.,
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
Centre for Population Health Sciences, Medical School, Teviot Place, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK.
Predictive Value of Tests
Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't