Varicose Veins

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

JoAnne M. Foody, 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.

Varicose Veins News & Events

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Dec 03, 2014
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Americans today consume nearly 20% more added sugar in their daily diet than they did 40 years ago.

Risks and Benefits of Extending Drug Treatment After Stent

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Head-to-Head Comparison of Big-Name diets

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No single big-name diet is superior when it comes to long-term weight loss, finds study.

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Overlooked in Heart Patients

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Lupus Linked to Congenital Heart Defects

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Study finds that women with lupus are almost 3 times more likely to have a child with a congenital heart defect.

Study Reveals Paradox of Cigarette Sales in Pharmacies

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Patients at risk of smoking-related diseases often purchase cigarettes at the same pharmacy used to fill prescription medications.

Healthy Fats Lower Cholesterol, Despite Weight Gain

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Healthy fats help offset the negative impact of weight gain on heart health, finds a recent study.

Rapid Weight Loss is Not So Bad, After All

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Gradual vs. rapid weight loss has little impact on long-term weight control.

Keeping Radiation to a Minimum for Heart Patients

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With radiation exposure a hot topic in recent years, here are strategies for enhancing radiation safety in heart imaging.

Childhood Risk Factors Have Lifelong Impact on Heart Health

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Weight and blood pressure during childhood have a long-lasting impact on heart function later in life.

Obesity Rates Plateau in U.S., but Waistlines Continue to Expand

Sep 24, 2014
More than half of American adults have abdominal obesity, according to national trends from the last decade.

Do You Know Your Heart-Health ABC's?

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Improving heart health just got a little bit simpler, thanks to the ABC’s of heart disease prevention.

Self-Management Improves Outcomes for Patients with Heart Valve Implants

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Empowering patients with heart valve implants to manage their own health reduces risk of complications, finds study.

Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Adults

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A recent scientific statement weighed the pros and cons of using tests in healthy individuals between 12-25 years old.

Aspirin Offers Safe, Affordable Option to Prevent Blood Clots

Sep 12, 2014
A new study confirms that aspirin is a safe and effective treatment for patients with a history of venous thromboembolism.

Weight Watchers and Atkins Equally as Effective

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There’s little difference between trademarked diet programs, finds new study.

Less Educated Smokers Have Greatest Stroke Risk

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Traditional risk factors for stroke are especially dangerous in poorly educated adults, finds study.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Patient Contest

Sep 02, 2014

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip to San Diego, CA.

Coca-Cola Family Track Walk in Richmond, VA

Aug 29, 2014
A fellow of the American College of Cardiology will be at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 6 to share tips on heart health and the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Heart Group Says E-Cigarettes Require Strict Regulation

Aug 28, 2014
Electronic cigarettes should be included in smoke-free air laws, according to the American Heart Association.

Folic Acid Deficiency Rare in U.S.

Aug 19, 2014
Study finds folic acid deficiency is extremely rare, making routine tests unnecessary in the general population.

All-in-One Pill to Prevent Heart Disease?

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A polypill to prevent heart disease has the potential to save millions of lives, according to experts.

Sitting Too Much Diminishes Fitness Level

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No matter how much you may exercise, sitting for long periods of time reduces fitness, finds study.

Staying Active and Reducing Sedentary Time Key to Combating Obesity

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Study finds that increasing physical activity and limiting sedentary time is the best combination for obesity prevention.

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