The term chronic venous insufficiency describes a spectrum of conditions associated with venous hypertension of the lower extremities that may present with pain, oedema, itchiness, skin changes, and (depending on the definition used) varicose veins. It is characterised by inflammation, increased capillary permeability and poor lymphatic function.
Chronic venous insufficiency affects 10-15% of men and 20-25% of women lifelong, and is an increasing problem in an ageing population. Of these, approximately 20% develop leg ulcers, and as a consequence, many sufferers go on to experience reduced quality of life and require long-term medical intervention.
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