Are Sock Marks a Sign of Heart Disease?

At the end of the day, you notice your socks have an indention on your legs and ankle. As a cardiac nurse, my patients often ask me, ” Are sock marks a sign of heart disease?”. In this article, I will explain when you should be concerned about socks marks leaving marks on your skin.

Are Sock Marks a Sign of Heart Disease

It is estimated that roughly 50% of Americans have some type of heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America.

Almost 700,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. Healthcare is about 20% of the gross national product( GNP).

Types of Heart Disease That Can Cause Sock Marks on Your Skin

There are many types of heart disease. However, the main ones that cause sock marks on your skin are coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Sock pressure is an indication of swelling or edema.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary Heart Disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease in America. Eighteen millions adults in America have CAD according to the CDC.

Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of heart attacks. When you have a heart attack, often times you will have heart muscle damage. This damage makes the heart weak and not able to pump as well.

When the heart can’t pump well, the blood can’t circulate throughout the body. The fluid in the body can’t circulate as well. Therefore, you will have edema in the extremities or sock marks.

re sock marks a sign of heart disease

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is so weak, it cannot pump blood and oxygen to meet the needs of the body. Therefore, blood backs up into the veins and go out into the tissues. This causes edema or sock marks.

Other Causes of Sock Marks

  • Fractures or bruises
  • Medications such as Norvasc
  • Insect bites
  • Pregnancy
  • Period
  • Infection
  • Autoimmune diseases


Socks marks can be a sign of heart disease. However, there are some diseases and disorders that can cause edema without having heart disease.

If you are having signs and symptoms along with leg swelling, you need to see a doctor immediately.

Some of theses signs and symptons of heart disease include:

Shortness of breath
Leg swelling
Memory loss

If you have chest pain, call 911.


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