The prevalence and correlates of varicose veins were investigated in a community survey in a neighbourhood of western Jerusalem in 1969-71. The prevalence was 10% among men and 29% among women aged 15 and over; it rose with age in each sex. In both sexes, significant associations were found with standing at work and with region of birth. Among women, varicose veins were associated with weight, the wearing of corsets, and having ever been pregnant. Among men, there was an association with inguinal hernia. The findings support the aetiological role of prolonged standing and raised intra-abdominal pressure. Varicose veins were relatively uncommon among North African-born men and women aged 45 and over. This finding, which was not accounted for by the other observed associations, is consistent with the possible aetiological role of experiences before immigration, such as behavioural patterns laid down in early life.
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