Is there a connection between vein health and heart health? Well, both fields of medicine deal with cardiovascular disorders, and these disorders are part of the same circulatory system, which depends on your heart, veins, and arteries being able to work together harmoniously to convey oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your organs and extremities. Because the circulatory system is interconnected, naturally there is a connection between conditions that affect the heart and arteries and conditions that affect your veins.
That said, there seems to be little evidence of a direct connection between your vein health and your heart health. Having varicose veins, for example, does not increase your risk of athersosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), or vice-versa. This is not to say that some vein diseases aren’t as serious as heart diseases – a vein disorder called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), for example, kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. But there doesn’t seem to be a one-to-one link between vein disease and heart disease, except in one important sense.
Vein disease and heart disease share a common set of risk factors
The real link between vein disease and heart disease is that the same risk factors will increase your likelihood of developing both of them. One risk factor you can’t control is genetics – just as you are more likely to develop heart disease if close members of your family have had it, you are more likely to develop varicose veins or DVT if there is a history of them in your family.
One of the risk factors you can control is smoking – stop smoking, and you cut your risk of both heart disease and vein disease in half within a few months. Obesity is a huge risk – every extra pound you carry places additional strain on your heart, increases your blood pressure, and puts stress on the tiny, one-way valves that enable your veins to pump blood back to your heart and lungs.
And interestingly enough, the most important risk factor for both vein disease and heart disease is turning out to be inactivity. By this we do not just mean “not getting enough exercise,” but the much greater risk of spending too much time every day sitting. Researchers have determined that every hour you spend sitting increases your risk of vein disease and heart disease.
So how can you prevent vein disease and heart disease?
The “good news” about these shared risk factors is that by reducing them you can significantly lower your risk – stop smoking, lose weight if you are overweight, get more exercise, and eat a balanced diet low in fats and salt, and both your vein and heart health will improve.
On a preventative level, another important step you can take is to get a checkup from your Palm Beach cardiologist. If you visit South Palm Cardiovascular Associates, you have “covered all the bases,” because not only are we some of the best vein doctors in Palm Beach, we’re also considered some of the top cardiologists in Palm Beach. A complete health screening from us is fast, painless, and non-invasive, but can accurately detect minor problems with both your cardiac health and your vascular health so they can be treated before they become major problems.
So give us a call today at 561-515-0080 and schedule an initial consultation. We’ll assess your risk factors for vein disease and heart disease and, if we detect any problems, explain your Palm Beach vein treatment options and help you to choose which are best for you. Call today, and take an important step to improve both your vein health and your heart health.