The author reminds us that varicose veins involve a large social and financial cost. He states the the etiopathogenic hypotheses commonly suggested have not been confronted with geographic pathological data and that consequently they are of little value. A thorough study of the epidemiological data and clinical characteristics of the disease was made. The different factors which are considered or which are likely to be considered in the onset of varicose veins are investigated in light of these data. From this comparison, it appears that the Western diet is the fundamental cause of varicose inducement and that it leaves the other factors (predisposing, triggering or aggravating) as risk factors. The part it plays is probably due to a slight vitamin E deficiency which, once aggravated (during pregnancy for instance), would act upon venous walls, coagulation and fibrinolysis. Thus, the veins would become sensitive to blood stasis and to venous hypertension effects due in particular to constipation.