[True or false varicose veins in sportsmen? (Result of a survey)]

Phlebologie. 1980 Jul-Sep;33(3):501-6.
[Article in French]


The incidence of varicose veins remains high, as is proved by official statistics, particularly those of the Army, the average level being given at about 35 per cent, at least in France. A recent statistic produced at the Centre for the Detection of Cardiovascular Disease of the Urban Community of Lille, fairly homogeneous and representative of the North Region, has shown that the incidence is 20 per cent for one or the other saphenous vein in a population of more than 1 500 subjects of mean age 34 years. This study was permitted a distinction between true varicose veins and simple venous swellings, and we can now raise the question of the responsibility of swelling in the high level of varicose veins sometimes reported in competitive athletes, especially in elevated places. The study concerns three population groups, the first unselected (20 per cent varicose veins, 11 per cent swellings), the second consisting of 120 licensed athletes (14 per cent varicose veins, 12 per cent swellings), and the third group consisting of 330 Brigade Firemen (14 per cent and 11 per cent). Swelling was assessed in part by an electronic processor though not with statistically valid precision and the search for valvular incompetence was carried out simply and economically by listening to the Doppler Signal. Very often a very small localised double souffle was heard at the exact site of the venous projection. This raises again the spinous pathogenesis of Piulachs and Vidal-Barraquer, which is discussed and accepted in the unambiguous case.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Saphenous Vein / pathology
  • Sports Medicine*
  • Varicose Veins / diagnosis*
  • Varicose Veins / epidemiology