The prevalence of and risk factors for varicose veins (VV) were studied in elderly persons over 60 years of age who had visited the Tonya and Farabi Hospitals in Trabzon, a city in northeastern Turkey. VV were defined as dilated, tortuous and elongated veins of the lower extremities and were classified into four types. The total prevalence of VV was 36.7% (14.6% in males and 22.1% in females). Segment type varices were observed in 16.5%, saphenous type in 5.6%, reticular type in 4.7%, web type in 2.3%, and combined types in 7.5%. The prevalence of VV increased with age and was greater among those with a family history of the condition in 154 of 312 patients with VV (49.4%). Other factors, such as congestive heart failure, angina pectoris, hypertension, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, height, weight, obesity, or hyperlipidemia, were not found to be associated with the prevalence of VV. However, the factors of age, work posture and childbirth did show an association with prevalence, as reported by others.