What are the risk factors?

  • Sex: Almost 50% of women between ages 40 and 50 have some form of varicose veins. Varicose veins are 4 times more common in women than men.
  • Age: There is an increased risk of varicose veins with aging as wear and tear on the valves in the veins develops.
  • Obesity: More weight on the legs leads to an increase in pressure in the veins.
  • Family history: You have a greater chance of developing varicose veins if there is a family history.
  • Lack of movement: Blood does not flow as well within the veins if there is a lack of physical movement.

How can I prevent varicose and spider veins?

  • Avoid wearing girdles, control-top pantyhose, garters, and any other tight-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid crossing your legs while seated.
  • Avoid sitting or standing in one position for a long time.
  • Exercise regularly to increase circulation.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Sit or lie down and elevate your legs at least twice a day for 30 minutes at a time.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/15/2019.


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