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Did Grandma ever say sitting with your legs crossed could cause varicose veins? Perhaps Grandma herself had the unsightly roadmap on her legs after years of overlapping her own limbs.

Attending Vascular Surgeon Dr. John Cooper of Deborah Heart and Lung Center says while you could blame Grandma for a genetic predisposition for venous disease, there’s no scientific evidence that sitting with crossed legs will heighten your risk. Rather, too much sitting – i.e. inactivity – is a bigger contributor than how you sit, along with factors such as obesity, gender, age, pregnancy, work requiring long periods of standing, and a history of blood clots.

Venous disease is a process that begins in the veins

when the valves that keep blood flowing back to the heart start to malfunction. The resulting sluggish blood flow can lead to blood pooling and veins becoming visible – from feathery spider veins to rippled, raised varicose veins. Untreated venous disease can cause discomfort and even ulcers and irreversible skin changes.Spider_Veins

KYW’s Rasa Kaye talks with Dr. Cooper about diagnosing and treating venous disease, and even ways to prevent it.

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