ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
More Than 60,000 Patients Risked Hepatitis Infections
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Health Tip: After Liposuction
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
FITNESS
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Hoping for a Happy Family Holiday? Here's How
Parents Influence Sex Decisions, Hispanic Teens Say
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
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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.