Being taller in height definitely has its advantages, like being able to reach high-up objects. But new research findings have put a damper on the height advantage. A recent study uncovered that being physically taller may increase your risk of varicose veins.
The study looked at genes from 493,519 individuals’ part of the UK Biobank, which is a long-term study looking at conditions like heart disease and genomic information.
The study confirmed well-known risk factors of varicose veins such as being older in age, being female, being overweight or pregnant, or having a history of deep vein thrombosis. Additional risk factors identified included surgery of the legs, family history of varicose veins, lack of movement, smoking, and hormone therapy.
The most surprising risk factor uncovered was being taller in height.
Co-lead author Erik Ingelsson explained, “Our results strongly suggest height is a cause, not just a correlated factor, but an underlying mechanism leading to varicose veins.”
Nicholas Leeper, another lead author, added, “Genes that predict a person’s height may be at the root of this link between height and varicose veins and may provide clues for treating the condition.”
The study identified 30 genes linked with varicose veins and a strong genetic association with deep vein thrombosis – blood clots.
Co-lead author Alyssa Flores concluded, “The condition is incredibly prevalent but shockingly little is known about the biology.
We’re hoping that with this new information, we can create new therapies, as our study highlights several genes that may represent new translational targets. By conducting the largest genetic study ever performed for varicose vein disease, we now have a much better understanding of the biology that is altered in people at risk for the disease.”
If you’re tall, then ensure you’re reducing your other controllable risk factors of varicose veins such as not smoking and being physically active to reduce your risk.
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