Vascular Diseases

The vascular system is your body’s network of blood vessels, including your 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 block blood flow to parts of your heart (heart attack) or brain (stroke) or other parts of your body. Weakened blood vessels (aneurysms and dissections) can rupture, 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 hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

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