We are often asked by patients at our vein clinic in New Orleans whether there is a connection between vein disease and heart disease. We tell them that there is definitely a connection, because both are part of the circulatory system, and both are considered cardiovascular disorders. However, there is little evidence of a direct link between purely venous (vein) disorders and arterial or heart disorders. For example, there is no evidence that having varicose veins increases your risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
This is not to say that vein diseases can’t pose a dangerous and life-threatening risk. One vein disease called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), for example, causes blood clots to form in the deep veins of your legs. If these clots travel to the brain they can cause a stroke, and if they travel to the lungs they can cause pulmonary embolism, and these conditions kill hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. But other than this, a one-to-one link between vein disease and heart disease doesn’t seem to exist except in the risk factorsthat cause them.
There ARE risk factors that vein disease and heart disease share
The real connection between vein disease and heart disease is that the same risk factors and lifestyle choices cause both conditions. For example, smoking cigarettes is one of the primary risk factors for both vein disease and heart disease. Age and heredity are two more shared risk factors – you are more likely to develop either condition if you are over 50, and if members of your family had either disease.
Finally, two other factors that increase your risk of developing both vein disease and heart disease are obesity and inactivity. Every extra pound over your ideal weight increases your risk, and every hour you spend sitting and not getting enough aerobic exercise puts strain on your heart, increases your blood pressure, and stresses the tiny valves that enable your veins to work properly.
So is there good news in all of this? How can I prevent both vein disease and heart disease?
Yes, there is a great deal of good news. You can drastically reduce your risk of developing both vein disease and heart disease by eating a balanced diet low in salt and fats, getting sufficient exercise, and avoiding smoking and other risky behaviors. You can also act proactively by contacting your local Louisiana vein doctor and scheduling a vascular heath screening. These examinations are painless and non-invasive, they take only about an hour, and they can detect minor problems with your veins, arteries, and heart before they become major problems.
So give one of the best New Orleans vein treatment centers a call today or go online and schedule an appointment for a screening. The professionals at La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center can accurately determine the current state of your circulatory health, and help you to prevent disease.