Varicose Veins, DVT, Common among seniors

Varicose Veins, DVT, Common Among Seniors Adults over 60 are twice as likely to develop vein diseases like varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis in Marietta and North Georgia.

There are a lot of disorders that come up with age, but one that isn’t talked about too much is vein disease. Venous insufficiency is a condition that frequently develops with age, but many seniors attribute its symptoms to the inevitable ailments of “growing old.”

Collagen is a primary component of vein walls, and unfortunately as we age collagen production naturally declines. This causes the vein walls to become fragile and the valves of the veins are more likely to dysfunction, prompting blood to flow backward into the legs. The failing valves and pooling of blood in the veins leads to varicose veins, as well as feelings of heaviness and aches in the legs.

According to one 2010 study out of the UK, approximately 71 percent of senior citizens develop varicose veins.

Aside from varicose veins, Marietta seniors have a few other venous conditions they need to be aware of.  Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is more prevalent in older adults than among younger populations, with those over the age of 60 being at the greatest risk for the condition.

There are three primary risk factors that increase the risk of DVT among older populations:

1)      Increased likelihood of varicose veins, which increases the risk of developing DVT

2)      Greater likelihood of immobility, either due to injury or reduced strength. Staying seated for long periods of time, like in a wheelchair for example, increases an individual’s risk of developing DVT.

3)      Trauma, whether from an injury like a fall or from surgical intervention, increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

In a study published by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in February of 2012, researchers found that elderly patients with untreated varicose veins who underwent hip replacement surgery were at a just over a three percent greater likelihood of developing deep vein thrombosis within 90 days after their operation, and a 0.4 percent greater likelihood of experiencing a pulmonary embolism in the three months following surgery.

Seniors can take steps to reduce their risk of vein disease in North Georgia, such as becoming more active, quitting smoking, managing their weight and taking others steps to maintain low blood pressure levels.  For more tips to prevent vein disease, and to assess your risk for varicose veins or DVT talk with your vein specialist Dr. Perry.

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