The aim of this population research was to find out the risk of arterial disease (defined as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, peripheral occlusive arterial disease, and cerebrovascular disease) and hypertension in persons with varicose veins. A 5-year follow-up study was conducted in Tampere, Finland. A validated questionnaire was used in 3 middle-aged cohorts (40, 50, and 60 year olds) in a general population of 6,874. In the follow-up study, 71% (n = 4,903) replied. The incidence of arterial disease and hypertension was studied in those with varicose veins and those without at the entry to the study. During the follow-up, new arterial disease occurred significantly more often in individuals with varicose veins. The incidence odds ratio was 2.0 (95% confidence interval, 1.5-2.7; n = 3,032), but the incidence odds ratio of new hypertension was 1.0 (95% confidence interval, 0.8-1.3; n = 2,915). Varicose veins are a risk indicator of arterial disease but not of hypertension. Varicose veins likely do not cause arterial disease, but they may have common causes that, however, are not related with hypertension.