URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vasculardiseases.html

Vascular Diseases

Summary

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.

Start Here

Diagnosis/Symptoms

Treatment

Prevention/Screening

Specific Conditions

Related Issues

Pictures & Photographs

Videos

Clinical Trials

Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Dictionaries/Glossaries

Directories

Children