A majority of Koreans are unaware of serious complications that could occur by neglecting varicose vein disease, according to a recent survey.
|KSP President Jang Jae-han explains the importance of receiving a diagnosis for varicose vein disorder, during a news conference at Plaza Seoul on Wednesday.|
The Korean Society for Vascular Surgery (KSVS) and the Korean Society for Phlebology (KSP) conducted the opinion poll.
"It is urgent to improve the awareness that varicose vein is a serious disease that can cause serious complications if left untreated," KSP President Jang Jae-han said in a news conference Wednesday.
The varicose vein is a problem in the leg's vain valve, which causes the blood to reflux back to the heart. It raises the leg's blood pressure and stretches the blood vessels, causing symptoms, including skin ulcers.
According to the survey on 1,024 adults, including 124 patients, seven out of 10 respondents replied that they recognized the disease but not know about details, such as symptoms, causes, and treatments.
"The rate of visiting the hospital by patients or those who thought they had symptoms was very low," Jang said. "It took more than a year from onset to diagnosis for 41 percent of patients with varicose veins."
The survey showed that 74 percent of respondents did not go to the hospital because they thought their symptoms were not that severe.
Some 62 percent of those surveyed regarded varicose veins as a severe disease. Still, only 28 percent knew that varicose veins could cause complications.
"The results show that people do not recognize varicose veins as a serious disease," Jang said. "The association will keep stressing that varicose vein is an advanced disease, which, if left untreated, can result in serious complications."
Jang reiterated his call on people who have symptoms to visit the hospital for a proper check-up as soon as possible. He also noted that the survey highlighted the difference between actual symptoms and what patients perceive as symptoms.
"Up to 85 percent of ordinary people think they are free from concerns unless their leg blood vessels protrude. However, it occurs in less than half of the patients in real settings,” Jang said. "They should consult a doctor when their legs are heavy or tired by standing or sitting on a chair for long."
As there are differences in the actual symptoms and what people perceive as symptoms, there is an urgent need to make them know the symptoms of varicose veins correctly, he added.