Varicose Veins Associated With Increased Risk of Deep Vein Blood Clots Interview with:

Shyueluen Chang

Shyueluen Chang

Shyueluen Chang MD
Phlebologist with Dermatologist background
Vein Clinic, Department of Dermatology,
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
Taoyuan, Taiwan What is the background for this study?  

Response: Varicose veins are common, with about 23 percent of U.S. adults having the condition, but they are rarely thought to be associated with serious health risks.

In contrast, venous thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and peripheral artery disease (PAD) are also vascular diseases that are associated with serious systemic effects. Not much is known about varicose veins and the risk of other vascular diseases. Elucidating potential associations between varicose veins and health-threatening diseases is important. What are the main findings?

Response: Varicose veins were associated with increased risk of blood clots known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT) but more research is needed to understand whether that association is causal or if it reflects a common set of risk factors. Findings about potential associations between varicose veins and risk of pulmonary embolus (PE) and PAD were less clear because of possible confounding factors. What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: Varicose veins are not merely cosmetic or symptomatic concern. Due to the association with increasing risk of more serious diseases, patients with varicose vein may warrant careful monitoring and early evaluation. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: To examine whether greater severity of varicose veins was associated with higher risk would be our recommendation for future research.

No disclosures 


Chang S, Huang Y, Lee M, Hu S, Hsiao Y, Chang S, Chang CJ, Chen P. Association of Varicose Veins With Incident Venous Thromboembolism and Peripheral Artery Disease. JAMA. 2018;319(8):807–817. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0246

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