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While commonly considered a solely cosmetic concern, varicose veins can be symptomatic of underlying vein disease — which, if left untreated, may lead to more serious health issues. 

As varicose vein specialists in the Wisconsin, Milwaukee area, we aim to educate people about the potential health implications of varicose veins. One question our patients frequently ask us is whether varicose veins can cause high blood pressure, and the correlation between the two issues.

In this article, we’ll break down the relationship between varicose veins and high blood pressure and shed light on the connection.

Understanding Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are often visible beneath the skin’s surface. While they can occur in any part of the body, they are most commonly found in the legs and feet.

These veins develop when the valves responsible for ensuring blood flow to the heart become damaged or weakened. The weakened valves allow blood to flow backward and pool in the veins, causing them to bulge and become prominent. Consequently, varicose veins can contribute to an increase in blood pressure within the affected veins.

The Link Between Varicose Veins and High Blood Pressure

Although varicose veins are not a direct cause of primary high blood pressure, they can contribute to a condition known as venous hypertension.

Venous hypertension occurs when veins struggle to efficiently return blood to the heart, resulting in pressure buildup in the lower extremities. This increased pressure places additional stress on the heart, which must then work harder to circulate the blood effectively.

Moreover, research has indicated that there is a clear correlation between hypertension and the development of varicose veins.

A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that individuals with varicose veins were more prone to developing arterial disease and hypertension compared to those without varicose veins.

This means that, although varicose veins do not directly cause high blood pressure, they can be a contributing factor or a consequence of the condition.

While the exact mechanisms behind this correlation are still being investigated, it is hypothesized that the underlying venous insufficiency and venous hypertension associated with varicose veins may contribute to systemic changes that impact blood pressure regulation.

Varicose Veins and Other Health Risks

Although measures can be taken to prevent them, varicose veins can serve as indicators of underlying vein problems. Individuals with varicose veins may be at an increased risk of developing conditions such as supraventricular tachycardia, a rapid heart rhythm disorder that affects the upper region of the heart.

Put simply, this is a condition in which abnormal electrical impulses in the heart cause an increased heart rate, leading to additional strain on the veins and arteries, potentially resulting in the development of varicose veins.

Likewise, high pressure within the veins when standing can lead to the formation of leg ulcers. The increased pressure of varicose veins can damage the skin, which can in turn promote the formation of ulcers.

Treatment and Management

It is important to note that treating varicose veins and high blood pressure typically requires different approaches.

However, managing varicose veins can indirectly impact blood pressure, especially in cases where venous insufficiency is present.

As vein specialists serving the Wisconsin, Milwaukee area, we offer a range of effective treatments for varicose veins. Our focus is on minimally invasive procedures that can be performed in an outpatient setting, allowing you to resume your daily activities quickly and with ease.


While varicose veins themselves do not directly cause high blood pressure, they can contribute to venous hypertension, which may then affect blood pressure levels. Varicose veins and high blood pressure often share common risk factors, such as age, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and hormonal changes. 

Remember, if you have concerns regarding varicose veins and their potential impact on blood pressure, it is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional. A vein specialist can provide an accurate evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment options.

Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive vein disease treatments and addressing any concerns you may have. Contact us to learn more about available treatment options or to schedule an appointment.