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Vascular Diseases

Description

The vascular system is the body's network of blood vessels. It includes the arteries, veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart. Problems of the vascular system are common and can be serious. Arteries can become thick and stiff, a problem called atherosclerosis. Blood clots can clog vessels and block blood flow to the heart or brain. Weakened blood vessels can burst, causing bleeding inside the body.

You are more likely to have vascular disease as you get older. Other factors that make vascular disease more likely include

  • Family history of vascular or heart diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Illness or injury
  • Long periods of sitting or standing still
  • Any condition that affects the heart and blood vessels, such as diabetes or high cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

Losing weight, eating healthy foods, being active and not smoking can help vascular disease. Other treatments include medicines and surgery.

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Consumer Summary Archived July 25, 2017
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Policymaker Summary Archived June 21, 2016
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Clinician Summary Archived June 21, 2016
Systematic Review Archived March 29, 2016
Systematic Review Archived January 15, 2016
Research Protocol Archived April 2, 2015
Research Protocol Archived January 20, 2015
Research Protocol Archived January 15, 2015
Research Protocol Archived December 4, 2014