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Venous disease: when the circulatory system is affected

Chronic venous disease and hemorrhoid affect a large number of people. While these diseases manifest in different ways, they are caused by the same issue: inflammation of the veins.

Venous disease most often begins with discomfort in the legs, progressing gradually to varicose veins, edema, skin hyperpigmentation (discoloration), and ulcers in advanced stages. It is sometimes complicated by superficial or deep or vein thrombosis (DVT), which is when a clot forms in a blood vessel and obstructs it.

Did you know?

Venous diseases are the most common diseases in the world. According to a study published in 2021 in the Journal of Vascular Surgery, “Venous and Lymphatic Disorders,” chronic venous diseases affect around 30% of the adult population worldwide, representing nearly 2.2 billion people1.

The main cause: poor circulation in the veins

What are the risk factors for venous diseases?

Several risk factors can be associated with the onset of venous diseases. Patients can take action on those related to circumstances or lifestyle. These include excess weight, level of physical activity, and standing for prolonged periods – all of which increase the likelihood of developing venous diseases. Women are at greater risk than men. To give an example, during pregnancy, the increased volume of the uterus compresses the veins in the abdomen, making it more difficult for venous blood to flow back up from the legs. Finally, a family history of venous disease, linked to genetic factors, also increases the likelihood of developing this condition.

Woman siting on couch and holding shin with her hand closeup
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How are venous diseases treated?

Treatments are available today according to the stage of the disease. Patient education, physical activity, elevating the legs and keeping weight in check can slow its progression. Mechanical methods such as elastic compression stockings or socks can reduce the pressure of the blood on the valves. Use of venotonics can improve the symptoms associated with venous disease, as a complement to healthy lifestyle measures.

Existing varicose veins are either surgically removed or sealed shut using radiofrequency or, laser, or the injection of a chemical solidifying agent (sclerotherapy).

Photo of a woman with leg pain


Servier works alongside health care professionals and patients to better understand venous insufficiency and treat the symptoms.


  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A few good habits – such as regular physical activity, regular leg massages, dietary changes, and ensuring that legs are kept elevated while sleeping – all help to slow the onset and progression of venous disease.
  2. Be proactive: If you start to notice symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Regardless of the stage of its development, care is essential for relieving symptoms and preventing the complications of this progressive disease.
  3. Various treatments are available: Examples include venoactive drugs (VAD), elastic contention or medical compression (stockings, tights and socks), as well as procedures like radiofrequency ablation, laser treatment, and sclerotherapy.

[1] Shadman R, Criqui MH, Bundens WP, et al. Subclinical Venous Disease Prevalence and Association with Symptoms in US Adults: Results from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004. J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2021;9(1):60-68.e3.