Aim: Varicose veins are a common condition but their etiology and relationship with other cardiovascular diseases are not well established. The aim of the study was to find out if persons with varicose veins have a higher risk of congestive heart failure (CHF) than persons without varicose veins.
Methods: The prevalence of CHF at entry and the incidence of CHF during a five-year follow-up period were studied in persons with and without varicose veins. A study was conducted with a questionnaire in a population of 4903 middle-aged residents in Tampere, Finland.
Results: Marginally higher prevalence of CHF was found in persons with varicose veins than in those without (2.9% vs. 1.9%) with OR 1.6 (1.0-2.3) and sex and age adjusted OR 1.2 (0.8-1.9). The incidence of CHF was higher in subjects with varicose veins than in others (4.9 vs. 2.6 per 1000 person-years) with IDR 1.9 (1.1-2.9) and sex and age adjusted IOR 2.5 (1.4-4.6). The result was further adjusted for body mass index, arterial disease and hypertension; multi-adjusted IOR for the incidence of CHF by varicose veins was 2.1 (1.1-4.0).
Conclusions: Our longitudinal observation is consistent with the hypothesis that persons with varicose veins have a higher risk of CHF which is not mediated through sex, age, overweight, arterial disease or hypertension.