NEW US research has found that the taller a person is, the higher their risk maybe of developing  varicose veins.

Led by  Stanford university  School of  Medicine the new study analyzed the genes of   493, 519  individuals gathered  from UK  Biobank - a large, long-term study which looks at conditions such as cardiovascular disease in UK  residents and includes genomic data on about half-million people.

The findings published in the journal Circulation, confirmed that current known risk factors    -including being older, female, over weight or pregnant, or having a history of deep vein thrombosis   -are all associated with varicose veins.

In addition, the study also identified surgery on the legs, family history of  varicose  veins, lack of movement, smoking and hormone therapy as new risk factors, with the team surprised to also find a correlation between varicose veins and height, with those who are taller appearing to have a higher risk of the condition.

The researchers then conducted further tests to see if height was an actual cause of the disease.

''Our results strongly suggest that height is a cause, not just a correlated factor, but an underlying mechanism leading to varicose veins,'' said Erik ingelsson, co-lead author of the study.

''Genes that predict a person's height may be at the root of this link between height and varicose veins and may provide clues for treating the condition,'' added another of the study's lead authors, Nicholas Leeper, MD.

The research also identified  30 genes  linked to varicose vein disorder and to a strong genetic coorelation with deep vein thrombosis.

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that can be seen just under the surface of the skin, usually in the legs.

While some believe the problem is a cosmetic one, the condition can cause moderate pain and has been linked to the more serious side effects of deep vein thrombosis, which occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body.

Treatment is mainly limited to surgical procedures, such as laser treatment or vein stripping.

''The condition is incredibly prevalent but shockingly little is known about the biology,'' said  co-lead author  Alyssa Flores.

''We're hoping that this with new information, we can create new therapies, as our study highlights  several genes  that may represent new translational targets. [Agencies]


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