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Health Tip: Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

Who's most likely to develop them

THURSDAY, Aug. 23, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Varicose veins are swollen, enlarged veins that bulge past the skin surface. They are usually purplish or bluish in color, and mostly appear on the backs of the legs or calves.

Here are common risk factors for varicose veins, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Aging.
  • A family history of vein problems.
  • Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
  • Taking birth control pills, or other medications with estrogen or progesterone.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Obesity.
  • Leg injury or prolonged standing.
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