ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
CAREGIVING
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
FITNESS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Should the FDA Regulate Tobacco?
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Add your Article

Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem

MONDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- A supposedly harmless condition -- superficial vein thrombosis, or varicose veins that have become swollen and painful -- may herald the presence of a more dangerous problem.

One-quarter of patients with superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) in an Austrian study actually had deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening condition.

"The diagnosis of [SVT] has long been considered to be a benign entity which could be managed in the doctor's office [but] in fact may be the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. Robert Lookstein, an associate professor of radiology and surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

"I think it's a good idea for anybody with [superficial vein thrombosis] to undergo routine ultrasound screening of the deep veins of their legs to exclude this very, very serious diagnosis," Lookstein continued.

This advice does not apply to individuals with "regular" varicose veins, only to those who are experiencing varicose veins that are "quite engorged and firm to the touch," Lookstein said.

Many doctors may already be on the alert.

"This [finding] does not surprise me," said Dr. Robert Rosen, director of vascular intervention at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "They [the study authors] are documenting something that doctors are already doing."

SVT, explained Lookstein, happens when varicose veins in the calves or thighs become filled with blood clots. "They become painful, can become hot and patients can have low-grade fevers," he said. "It's a condition that can be quite uncomfortable."

Unlike SVT, which is visible on the surface of the skin, DVT is a blood clot that forms in veins deeper in the body. Complications can include pulmonary embolism, when a piece of the clot in the leg breaks off and travels to the lung; and post-thrombotic syndrome, in which the clots in the leg never heal, sometimes leading to loss of function of the legs, Lookstein said.

"This can transform somebody who would otherwise be a working member of the community and turn them into somebody unable to work, somebody who is bedbound," he said.

The authors of the new study, from the Medical University of Graz in Austria, looked at 46 patients (32 women and 14 men) who came to the dermatology department with SVT.

One-quarter of the patients had DVT, usually without symptoms. Of these, three-quarters had DVT in the same leg as the superficial vein thrombosis, 9 percent had DVT in the other leg and 18 percent had it in both legs, the researchers said.

Anybody with SVT should undergo routine screening with duplex ultrasound, which can be performed either in a doctor's office or by a vascular specialist, Lookstein said.

The findings were published in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.