Are Varicose Veins Genetic? And Other Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

Genes: the #1 risk factor for varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency

An estimated 20 percent of the population in the United States has varicose veins, which are dilated, enlarged veins most commonly seen on the legs. They occur when the valves in the veins that are responsible for circulating blood back to the heart become weakened or damaged. This results in blood pooling in the veins and causing them to swell.

Varicose veins are a cosmetic concern for many people, but they’re usually indicative of a more serious circulatory problem. Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition in which the veins are unable to properly pump blood back to the heart, and it’s directly responsible for most vein problems, including spider veins and varicose veins.

There are many factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins and CVI, but the most important is genetics. Up to 80 percent of people with varicose veins have a family history of the condition. If both your parents have a history of vein problems, there’s a 90 percent chance that you’ll eventually have vein disease.

Several genes have been linked to an increased risk of developing varicose veins and CVI. One of the most well-studied is the Factor V Leiden mutation. This mutation is found in about 5 percent of the general population, but it is present in up to 35 percent of people with varicose veins.

Other genes that have been linked to an increased risk of varicose veins and CVI include those involved in the regulation of blood clotting, such as the prothrombin G20210A mutation and those involved in the structure of vessel walls, such as the Human Duchess2 gene.

Genetics is the most important risk factor for vein disease, so if you have a family history of varicose veins or CVI, you may be at an increased risk. If you are concerned about your risk, talk to your vein doctor about ways to prevent or manage these conditions.

Our medical center for vein treatment in New York is led by board-certified vein doctors who can examine your condition, discuss your symptoms, and recommend solutions to minimize your risk of vein problems. You can find our vein doctors in Midtown Manhattan, a short walk from Bryant Park. Please schedule an appointment for vein treatment in New York.

What are the other risk factors for varicose veins?

While genetics is the most important risk factor for varicose veins and CVI, there are other factors that can contribute to the development of these conditions. These include age, pregnancy, obesity, and prolonged standing or sitting.

Are varicose veins genetic? What causes varicose veins? What are the other risk factors for varicose veins? We help you determine if you have a high risk of varicose veins in New York.


Women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and menopause. Furthermore, estrogen and progesterone hormones also weaken the vein valves, and women have more of these hormones than men.


The increased weight and pressure on the pelvis and abdomen during pregnancy can cause the veins in the legs to enlarge and bulge. Furthermore, during pregnancy, women also produce more estrogen and progesterone, which can weaken the vein valves. If you have dilated veins, engorged veins, or spider veins in pregnancy, you should contact your vein doctor.


The risk of developing varicose veins increases with age, as the valves in the veins become weaker and less able to pump blood efficiently.


Being overweight or obese puts extra strain on the veins in the legs, which can lead to varicose veins. Obesity isn’t the primary risk factor for varicose veins, but a healthy lifestyle can minimize the risk of spider veins and varicose veins.


People who have jobs that require them to stand for long periods of time are at a higher risk of developing varicose veins, as the blood can pool in the veins and cause them to enlarge. If your job involves long periods of standing or sitting, take short breaks to move around. Jobs with the highest risk of vein disease include driving, nursing, teaching, and desk jobs.


Experiencing symptoms of vein disease? Book an appointment with one of the our Vein Specialists in New York.

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What causes varicose veins?

The root cause of varicose veins is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI occurs when the valves in your veins stop working properly. Normally, these valves keep blood flowing in the right direction. When they don’t work right, blood can leak back into the veins and cause them to become dilated or enlarged. Over time, the dilated veins can become more and more twisted and can eventually form what are known as inner varicose veins. This is a serious condition that can lead to ulcers and other health problems.

Why do you get leg veins during pregnancy?

There are many changes that happen to a woman’s body during pregnancy, and one of these is the development of spider veins, engorged veins, and dilated veins. While some women may only experience a few dilated veins, others may find that their legs are covered in them. So why do pregnant women get dilated veins?

There are two main reasons why leg veins are more common during pregnancy. The first reason is that the extra weight that a woman is carrying can put a strain on her veins, causing them to become more visible. The second reason is that during pregnancy, the hormone progesterone relaxes the walls of the veins, leading to a higher risk of vein disease and varicose veins.

If you have a higher risk of spider veins, varicose veins, and dilated veins, you can take the following measures to reduce your risk:

  • Wear compression stockings
  • Walk frequently
  • Engage in cardiovascular exercises, such as running and swimming
  • Don’t sit or stand still for long periods
  • Elevate your legs while sitting down
  • Contact a board-certified vein doctor for an evaluation




Veins Specialist NYC

He leads the team of vein doctors offering the highest level of care at our Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Center NYC.



Veins Specialists NYC

Highly sought after for his expertise and excellent outcomes in Vein Treatments in Manhattan.



Veins Specialists NYC

She has extensive experience with vein performing procedures based on New York City.


Dr. Caroline Novak

Veins Specialists NYC

She is an Internal Medicine and Vein Disease specialist with experience in minimally invasive treatments at our Long Island clinic.


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