Self-reported prevalence of venous diseases in the general population of Austria--results of the SERMO (Self-Reported Morbidity) Study.Acta Med Austriaca 1998; 25(2):65-8AM
Venous diseases are common in Western societies, their causes, however, have remained largely unknown. The prevalence of venous diseases in the general population of Austria was assessed, and information on the background morbidity of venous diseases obtained from the data base of the SERMO study (Self-Reported Morbidity Study). The SERMO study consists of 9 representative population surveys conducted between December 1994 and December 1995; the study aimed at describing and monitoring the characteristics of background morbidity in the Austrian population. 5.9% of the sample reported to suffer from venous diseases (vein varicosis, phlebitis, vein thrombosis) in 1995; the point prevalence was 4.1%. The prevalence rate of chronic vascular disorders of the lower extremities was 5.9%. The prevalence of venous diseases is much higher among women than men. Advanced age is as much a risk factor for venous diseases as is low education. This study has shown that persons suffering from venous diseases, especially those advanced in age, suffer more often from concomitant diseases and disorders than others. In addition to clinical and mortality data, self-reported morbidity data provide important information on the health of a general population. Persons above 60 years of age are expected to constitute one third of the entire Austrian population by the year 2030. With this anticipated demographic development in view, the need for long-term prevention plans of chronic venous diseases appears to be of particular importance.