Varicose veins of the lower limbs and venous capacitance in postmenopausal women: Relationship with obesity

Arcangelo Iannuzzi, Salvatore Panico, Anna V. Ciardullo, Cristina Bellati, Vincenzo Cioffi, Gabriella Iannuzzo, Egidio Celentano, Franco Berrino, Paolo Rubba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between body mass index (BMI), venous capacitance, and clinical evidence of varicose veins after adjustment for sex hormones in postmenopausal women. Methods: This study group of the DIANA (DIet and ANdrogens) project (a randomized controlled trial on the effect of some dietary changes on sex hormone pattern in women with elevated androgenic hormone levels in Italy) was comprised of 104 healthy vollunteer postmenopausal women, aged 48 to 65 years. The main outcome measures were physical examination to determine the presence and severity of varicose veins and plethysmographic measurement of lower limb venous capacitance and outflow. Results: Women in the upper quartile of BMI (> 30 kg/m 2) showed a positive association with clinical evidence of varicose veins (odds ration, 5.8; 95% CI, 1.2 to 28.2) after adjustment for age, estradiol, testosterone, and sex hormone binding globulin. No association was found between BMI and plethysmographic measurements of venous parameters. Conclusion: Obesity is associated with clinical evidence of varicose veins independently from the influence of sex hormones in postmenopausal women and is not associated with venous capacitance. Increased body weight increases the risk of varicose veins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-968
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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