One of the questions we are asked most frequently in our vein clinic of Atlanta is whether varicose veins are hereditary or not. The answer is yes, varicose veins and other venous diseases seem to have at least some hereditary link. However, the issue is a little more complex than that.

Venous diseases definitely run in families. Your risk of developing varicose veins and needing treatment for varicose veins is undeniably higher if your parents or grandparents also developed varicose veins in their lifetime. However, just because your parents or grandparents had issues with varicose veins does not mean that you are guaranteed to have issues yourself.

Varicose Veins Are Very Common

Issues with varicose veins are incredibly common among Americans. Nearly half of all people in the United States will develop some form of venous insufficiency or varicose veins at some point in their lives. This high level of common risk means it’s difficult for scientists to pinpoint for certain whether your particular case is hereditary or if it is just a coincidence that you and a parent both developed venous insufficiency.

Other Risk Factors

There are certain other factors that can increase your risk for developing chronic venous insufficiency. These include your age, the number of pregnancies you have had, your hormone balance (especially for women), obesity and whether or not you have to stand for long periods of time for work. There are ways to reduce the risk with some of these issues, such as reducing the amount of time you spend standing, increasing your exercise, using compression socks or stockings and focusing on weight loss, but others cannot really be changed.

Focus on Healing

Ultimately, we believe it does not really matter whether your varicose veins were caused by your genetics or by other risk factors. What matters is that we work together to get rid of your varicose veins and reduce your risk of developing them in the future. Your parents certainly may have played their part in your venous disease’s development, but genetics do not have to control your vein health for your entire life.

If you are interested in learning more about how to treat varicose veins or steps you can take to avoid developing them, we encourage you to schedule a consultation session with one of our surgeons.