This report is about varicose veins and the range of venous diseases of the legs, including chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) and venous ulcers, that people with varicose veins are prone to develop. It collates information on the prevalence of these conditions, focusing on European populations, and presents estimates of their economic cost in five European countries, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. It reviews the benefits and risks of alternative treatments and highlights the potential for innovations in organising health services for people with venous diseases.