Varicose Veins

Learn what’s behind what many consider a cosmetic concern.

Martha Gulati, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief
Learn more about Varicose Veins

We’ve all seen them, and half of people over age 50 have them. Yes, varicose veins. These twisted, bulging dark purple or blue veins usually appear on your legs or ankles. While they can be cosmetically unpleasant to look at, the good news is they aren’t usually cause for alarm.

Varicose veins develop when valves in the veins that carry blood up toward your heart stop working properly. As a result, blood collects in the veins. The pressure of this pooled blood can actually push the veins above the surface of your skin.

In some cases, varicose veins can cause discomfort and may be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)—a blood clot in a vein deep in your leg. If you notice any unusual swelling in your leg, pain or changes in skin color, you should contact your health care provider. There are things you can do to get rid of varicose veins or keep them from getting worse. Use this condition center to learn more about varicose veins, create a list of questions to ask your health care provider and get practical tips.

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A review of more than 50 clinical trials comparing low- versus higher-fat diets shows no significant difference in weight loss results.

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Analysis of VA data stands in contrast to health disparities in the general U.S. population.

Music Boosts Heart Health

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Music’s effect on heart activity, blood pressure and breathing bodes well for health.

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The benefits of healthy choices carry long into older adulthood.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

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Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip for two to Chicago in April 2016!

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While life expectancy continues to rise, heart disease becomes the leading cause of disability around the world.

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Study finds that both volume and type of belly fat have an impact on heart health.

Age and Gender Differences in Heart Disease Mortality Rates

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Despite recent drops in cardiovascular mortality rates, death toll among young adults remains high.

Economic and Social Forces Have Big Impact on Heart Health

Aug 21, 2015
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Moderate chocolate consumption helps, not harms, cardiovascular health.

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A National Plan to Get America Moving

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Study highlights the benefits of exercise and sports in middle-aged adults, as well as CPR training.

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Quitting is the best approach for the health of the family, but limiting children’s exposure to smoke can help.

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Finnish study assesses the effects of Vitamin D and strength training in women prone to falling.

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