Varicose veins, haemorrhoids and the risk of circulatory diseases: Record-linkage study
Rahman F., Wotton CJ., Goldacre MJ.
Varicose veins and haemorrhoids both involve the venous circulatory system, but it is unclear whether they are predictors of elevated rates of other circulatory diseases. Our aim was to determine whether they are. We analysed an epidemiological database of hospital admission and day-case statistics, constructing cohorts of people admitted for care for varicose veins or haemorrhoids, and comparing their experience of subsequent circulatory diseases with a control cohort. Compared with the control cohort, there was an elevated risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the varicose veins cohort (rate ratio 1.20; 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.33) but not in the haemorrhoids cohort (0.90; 0.78-1.03). No other circulatory diseases showed significantly elevated risks associated with varicose veins or haemorrhoids. The rate ratio for coronary heart disease in the varicose veins cohort was 0.91 (95% confidence interval 0.88-0.95) and that in the haemorrhoids cohort was 0.98 (0.94-1.03). We conclude that neither varicose veins nor haemorrhoids showed strong association, either positive or negative, with other circulatory diseases. There was a significant, but numerically modest, elevated risk of DVT associated with varicose veins. The risk of coronary heart disease in people with varicose veins was, if anything, a bit low.