There is a connection between vein disease and heart disease, because both are considered cardiovascular disorders, and both are part of the circulatory system. The heart pumps oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood through the arteries to your organs and extremities, and then the veins convey the de-oxygenated blood and waste materials back to the heart and lungs for replenishment. Because the whole circulatory system is connected, there is a connection between disorders of the veins and disorders of the arteries and heart. Our noted vascular specialists in NJ explain.
There seems to be little scientific evidence of a direct link between purely venous (vein) disorders and arterial or heart disorders. For example, there are no studies indicating that having varicose veins increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), or vice-versa. This is not to say that vein diseases do not pose a potentially life-threatening risk. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a venous condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs. If these blood clots travel to the lungs they can cause pulmonary embolisms, and if they travel to the brain they can cause stroke. Both conditions kill many hundreds of thousands of people each year. But the one-to-one link between vein disease and heart disease does not seem to be present…except in the risk factors for both of them.
What are the risk factors that vein disease and heart disease share?
The real “connection” between vein disease and heart disease is that the same factors and lifestyle choices seem to greatly increase your risk of developing both. Smoking cigarettes, for example, is one of the primary risk factors of both vein diseases and heart disease; if you stop smoking to reduce the risk to your heart, you also reduce the risk to your veins. Age is an obvious second shared risk factor; you are more likely to develop either vein disease or heart disease after the age of 50. Genetics plays a part, in that if members of your family have had either disease before, you are more likely to develop them as well.
Two other factors that increase your risk of developing vein disease as much as they do your risk of developing heart disease are obesity and inactivity. Every extra pound you carry around puts additional strain on your heart, increases your blood pressure, and puts stress on the tiny valves that enable your veins to work. And the biggest risk factor of all may turn out to be inactivity, which does not just mean “not getting enough exercise” – it includes sitting too much. The greater the number of hours per day you spend sitting, the greater your risk of developing either vein disease or heart disease.
So what is the good news? How do I prevent vein disease and heart disease?
On a personal, “lifestyle” level, the same guidelines apply for both diseases – eat a balanced diet low in salt and fats, get sufficient exercise, and avoid smoking and other risky behaviors. On a preventative level, get a vascular health screening. These examinations are painless, fast (often taking less than an hour), and can detect problems with your veins, your arteries, and your heart. And best of all, most of the circulatory problems that can be identified in such screenings can be effectively treated almost as quickly and easily, without hospitalization, in the offices of your local vascular specialists in NJ.
So give the best vein and cardiovascular doctors in NJ a call today at 201-299-4479 and schedule an appointment for a screening. The professionals at Cross County Cardiology can accurately determine the state of your circulatory health, and advise you what needs to be done to eliminate or prevent disease. For more information about any of these subjects, consult our website at www.crosscountycardiology.com.