High Risk Occupations for Varicose Veins

April 6, 2020

Although there are a variety of factors that may contribute to varicose veins, the effect of one’s occupation is well documented. Research suggests that those who work jobs in a standing position four or more hours during a normal work shift report higher incidences of venous deficiency.

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Occurrences are significantly higher for jobs requiring standing over sitting, sometimes factoring into 70% or more of reported cases. Case studies have identified occupations at higher risk for varicose veins to be nurses, teachers, hotel workers, hospitality staff, hairdressers, police, factory workers, retail store clerks, and industrial workers. One such study confirming these findings showed the highest rate of varicose veins diagnoses among nurses to be those who also served as teaching faculty.

The rising popularity of the standing desk for traditionally seated occupations also have some concerned about the risk of varicose veins. Although there seems to be no formal studies about the standing desk in particular, plenty of research exists indicating a link between standing for long periods and an increased onset of venous disease.

Varicose veins are the result of poorly functioning valves lining the interior venous wall and decreased elasticity of the vein. The failure of the valves can result in blood reversing flow or pooling in an area. These veins tend to become elongated, twisted, bulging, and discolored once they have lost valvular efficiency.

While standing for prolonged periods has not been proven to be a direct cause of varicose veins, it has been known to exacerbate preexisting conditions. Reduced muscular activity as a result of standing in position can induce venous stasis, a disruption of the regular circulation of blood. In addition to length of time standing throughout a day, the number of years of doing so is also a factor.

Many factors contributing to varicose veins have been identified including occupation, pregnancy, hormonal changes, abdominal and pelvic conditions, chronic constipation, and deep vein thrombosis. The overall cause of malfunctioning venous valves is likely to be multifactorial.

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Varicose veins can cause cramping, pain, loss of function, and more serious health complications. If you or someone you know is at risk for varicose veins, please consult a doctor. The treatment of the disease has advanced significantly in recent years with the FDA approval of VenaSeal™, which allows for a non-invasive, outpatient treatment with a quick recovery time. Scheduling treatment around vacation time and seasonal employment is also available with most doctors.

For patients in or visiting the Palm Beach, Florida area, contact Dr. Christopher Boyes of Coastal Vein and Vascular Specialists to schedule a consultation. Dr. Boyes is a highly rated, board certified vascular surgeon treating patients for varicose veins and other vascular problems. Please call 561-295-4110 to schedule a consultation.