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Summary

Background: Despite the frequent use of medical compression stockings (MCS), reliable data are lacking on the frequency of MCS use and experience of patients with the treatment.

Patients and methods: The Bonn Vein Study included 3,072 participants from the general population aged 18 to 79 years (1,350 men/1,722 women). Between 2007 and 2008 (Bonn Vein Study 2) 1,978 participants from the Bonn Vein Study 1 were reinvestigated. This paper combines the results of both investigations.

Results: 14.6% (7.5% men, 20.3% women) reported having previously undergone treatment with compression stockings. A mean of 71.3% reported an improvement in their venous disease as a result of MCS treatment. During the 6.6 years of follow-up (Bonn Vein Study 2), significantly more prescriptions of MCS were given to patients in higher CEAP clinical stages. 12.2% of the population in C2 was treated with MCS as were 19.1% in C3 and 27.0% in C4–C6. Among participants with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) (skin changes up to venous ulcers), about 60% were not treated by MCS or bandages in the past years.

Conclusions: These results show that MCS is the most common treatment of venous disorders in the German population. At the same time, these figures also demonstrate severely lacking treatment with MCS in CVI.