Are Varicose Veins Hereditary?

Varicose veins are a common medical problem that affect about 30% of adults. These twisted, blue veins can be sometimes be seen and felt under the skin, and are most common in the legs.

Like many medical conditions, varicose veins are influenced by your family history. If you have one parent with varicose veins, your chances of getting them go up by 40%. If both your parents have had varicose veins, those odds increase by 90%.

Here are some factors other than heredity that could influence whether or not you develop varicose veins:

  • Female hormones – Female hormones are thought to relax the veins, limiting their ability to move the blood along.
  • Pregnancy – The growing baby may put added pressure on the veins, but typically, varicose veins that develop during pregnancy typically disappear about 3 months after the baby is born. However, they may return and be worse in future pregnancies.
  • Being overweight – Being overweight or obese increases your risk of varicose veins. Increased body weight can strain the veins and limit the flow of blood back to the heart.
  • Age – It’s no surprise that as we get older, our veins, along with their valves and walls, get older as well. The longer you live, the more likely your veins are to deteriorate and varicose veins can form.
  • Certain jobs – People who work in jobs that involve standing or sitting for long periods of time are more likely to develop varicose veins.
  • Injury to your leg or legs – If you suffer an injury to your leg, your veins could be permanently damaged, which may result in varicose veins.

If you have a family history of varicose veins and are worried that you may develop them too, it may be time to speak with a vein specialist to discuss what you can do for prevention and treatment. It’s important to remember that a family history of varicose veins doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get them too.

Lifestyle adjustments can have a significant effect on your veins. The simplest step that any person can take to mitigate their risk of varicose veins is to improve their circulation. Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption can also eliminate major contributors to the development of varicose veins.


Elmore Medical Vein & Laser Treatment Center is the premier vein specialty medical practice in the Central Valley. Dr. Mario H. Gonzalez and his staff offer years of experience and medical expertise that you won’t find anywhere else. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment.

Jennifer GuidryComment