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Who’s at Risk of Venous Insufficiency?

Venous disease refers to several conditions that affect the veins in your body, such as varicose veins and venous insufficiency. If you’ve noticed a heavy feeling in your legs or frequent leg cramps that are worse at night, it could be venous insufficiency. 

A vein specialist is the right person to see if you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect you may have venous insufficiency. Vascular surgeon Dennis Resetarits, MD, at Surgical Care East specializes in venous disease and offers effective treatments to address problems like venous insufficiency. 

What is chronic venous insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency occurs when there’s a malfunction in the valves in your veins that are responsible for ensuring blood flows in one direction from your limbs to your heart. When the valves fail, blood flows backward and pools in your legs due to gravitational pull. 

Symptoms of venous insufficiency include: 

If left untreated, venous insufficiency can have serious health consequences, including blood clots, skin sores, and infections.

Seek prompt treatment from a vein specialist if you do have vein disease. 

What puts you at risk for venous insufficiency?

Several factors increase the likelihood of developing vein disease. The following are the major risk factors. 

Family history 

Genetic predisposition is a major risk factor for venous insufficiency. If you have a close relative with venous insufficiency, your chances of developing it are higher. In fact, if both parents have venous insufficiency, you’re 90% more likely to develop vein disease yourself. 

Scientists have identified several genetic traits that predispose you to venous insufficiency, such as differences in blood vessel development. Genes are considered the primary risk factor for venous insufficiency. 


Changes during pregnancy boost the risk of venous insufficiency. An increase in certain hormones causes vein walls to relax. At the same time, blood volume increases and the weight of carrying a fetus increases the pressure against vein walls.

 All of these factors make it more likely that you’ll develop vein disease during pregnancy. 


While being slightly overweight is unlikely to cause vein disease, obesity is a risk factor. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or greater. 

Carrying a lot of excess weight puts pressure on the veins in your legs and increases the hormone estrogen. Both of these factors raise the chances of developing vein disease. 

Occupation that requires sitting or standing for long periods

Jobs where you’re on your feet all day, such as nursing, as well as occupations where you sit for long periods, such as desk jobs, increase the risk of blood pooling in your legs. Standing for long periods each day can weaken vein walls over time. 

Medical history

A history of vein problems, including deep vein thrombosis, put you at risk for venous disease. Blood clots can weaken the valves in your veins, causing dysfunction and paving the way for venous insufficiency. 


Women are more likely to have vein disease than men. One reason is the effect of estrogen and progesterone on vein wall relaxation. This can make vein valves less efficient at keeping blood flowing in one direction. 

Help for vein disease

If you have vein disease, rest assured that Dr. Resetarits, and our team at Surgical Care East have you covered. 

Following a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Resetarits recommends the most appropriate treatment approach to improve your vascular health. In addition to treatment, we can recommend lifestyle changes to support better vascular health. 

To learn more about venous insufficiency treatment options and for all of your vein health needs, contact us today to request an appointment with Dr. Resetarits at our Camillus, New York, office.

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