Mortality and CV event risks are higher with varicose veins

  • Wu NC & al.
  • BMJ Open
  • 21 Jun 2020

  • curated by Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Varicose veins are linked to increased mortality and cardiovascular (CV) event risk, especially in men.

Why this matters

  • These authors say that their findings warrant close attention to prognosis and treatment in patients with varicose veins.

Key results

  • Most patients with varicose veins did not have systemic disease but did have worse outcomes vs those without varicose veins.
  • Adjusted HR for all-cause mortality was higher with varicose veins:
    • 1.37 (95% CI, 1.19-1.57).
  • Older age and being male intensified this risk (adjusted HRs; 95% CIs):
    • Age ≥65 years: 1.38 (1.17-1.62).
    • Male: 1.41 (1.18-1.68).
  • HR for major cardiac events also increased with varicose veins vs without:
    • 2.05 (95% CI, 1.89-2.23).
  • In this case, younger age intensified the risk (adjusted HRs; 95% CIs), along with being male:
    • Age
    • Male: 2.32 (2.06-2.62).
  • Severe varicose veins were also linked to increased thrombotic event risk:
    • Adjusted HR, 38.4 (95% CI, 16.4-90.1).

Study design

  • Taiwan national insurance database data for 4644 patients with a new varicose vein diagnosis, 1999-2012, propensity score-matched by age, chronic CV risk factors, and sex to 3 groups of controls for comparison by 3 severity grades.
  • Funding: Chi-Mei Medical Center.

Limitations

  • Not all varicose vein-related risk factors, such as smoking, overweight, were available.