Height and risk of vari­cose vein may be linked

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Front Page -

NEW RE­SEARCH has found that the taller a per­son is, the higher their risk may be of de­vel­op­ing vari­cose veins. Led by Stan­ford Univer­sity School of Medicine, the new study an­a­lysed the genes of 493,519 in­di­vid­u­als gathered from UK Biobank – a large, long-term study which looks at con­di­tions such as car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease in UK res­i­dents and in­cludes ge­nomic data on about a half-mil­lion peo­ple. The find­ings, pub­lished in the jour­nal Cir­cu­la­tion, con­firmed that cur­rent known risk fac­tors – in­clud­ing be­ing older, fe­male, over­weight or preg­nant, or hav­ing a his­tory of deep vein throm­bo­sis– are all as­so­ci­ated with vari­cose veins. In ad­di­tion, the study also iden­ti­fied surgery on the legs, fam­ily his­tory of vari­cose veins, lack of move­ment, smok­ing and hor­mone ther­apy as new risk fac­tors, with the team sur­prised to also find a cor­re­la­tion be­tween vari­cose veins and height, with those who are taller ap­pear­ing to have a higher risk of the con­di­tion. The re­searchers then con­ducted fur­ther tests to see if height was an ac­tual cause for the dis­ease. “Our re­sults strongly sug­gest height is a cause, not just a cor­re­lated fac­tor, but an un­der­ly­ing mech­a­nism lead­ing to vari­cose veins,” said Erik In­gels­son, co-lead au­thor of the study. “Genes that pre­dict a per­son’s height may be at the root of this link be­tween height and vari­cose veins and may pro­vide clues for treat­ing the con­di­tion,” added an­other of the study’s lead au­thors, Dr Ni­cholas Leeper. The re­search also iden­ti­fied 30 genes linked to vari­cose vein dis­or­der and to a strong ge­netic cor­re­la­tion with deep vein throm­bo­sis. Vari­cose veins are swollen, twisted veins that can be seen just un­der the sur­face of the skin, usu­ally in the legs. While some be­lieve the prob­lem is a cos­metic one, the con­di­tion can cause mod­er­ate pain and has been linked to the more se­ri­ous side ef­fects of deep vein throm­bo­sis, which oc­curs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body. Treat­ment is mainly lim­ited to sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures, such as laser treat­ment or vein strip­ping. “The con­di­tion is in­cred­i­bly preva­lent but shock­ingly lit­tle is known about the bi­ol­ogy,” said co-lead au­thor Alyssa Flo­res. “We’re hop­ing that with this new in­for­ma­tion, we can cre­ate new ther­a­pies, as our study high­lights sev­eral genes that may rep­re­sent new trans­la­tional tar­gets.” “By con­duct­ing the largest ge­netic study ever per­formed for vari­cose vein dis­ease, we now have a much bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the bi­ol­ogy that is al­tered in peo­ple at risk for the dis­ease.” – Re­laxnews

New re­search found a cor­re­la­tion be­tween height and a ten­dency for vari­cose veins.– iS­tock photo

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