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BMC Public Health. 2014 Aug 28;14:885. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-885.

Varicose veins in hairdressers and associated risk factors: a cross-sectional study.

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Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.



Varicose veins (VV) cause not only cosmetic problems but also clinical symptoms such as pain of the affected limbs. Whereas an occupation associated with orthostasis has been recognized as a risk factor of VV, epidemiological studies on working populations are limited. We conducted a study to identify the risk factors of lower limb VV among hairdressers in Taiwan and evaluate their effects, with a focus on long-term standing at work.


We recruited participants from members of a hairdressers union in southern Taiwan and conducted a questionnaire survey. Data on demographic characteristics, body weight and height, work history, medical history, and other potential related factors were collected from each participant.


A total of 182 hairdressers participated in the survey, and 44 (24.2%) had lower limb VV. Uni-variate analyses showed that hairdressers with lower limb VV tended to be older (49.3 vs. 44.7 years, p = 0.032), have a family history of VV (25.6% vs. 9.9%, p = 0.011), doing housework in standing position (86.4% vs. 71.0% , p = 0.042), have a longer work history (30.5 vs. 24.0 years, p = 0.005), and stand longer at work (213.9 vs. 176.0 hour/month, p = 0.008). In multivariate analysis, in hairdressers ≤ 45 years old, the only significant risk factor was a family history of VV (odds ratio [OR] = 11.9, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.1-133.5). In hairdressers > 45 years old, the risk factors included standing working for > 260 hours per month (OR = 31.8, 95% CI = 1.8-566.5) and working as a hairdresser for > 30 years (for 31-42 years, OR = 10.9, 95% CI = 1.6-73.8; for ≥ 43 years, OR = 12.0, 95% CI = 1.6-88.5).


In hairdressers ≤ 45 years old, family history of VV is a major risk factor for developing lower limb VV, while in those who are > 45 years old, the effects of occupational risk factors are more prominent.

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