Arteriosclerosis is a histological term meaning the loss of elastic tissue from the walls
of the medium and large arteries (arterio-), which consequently become rigid (-
sclerosis). As elastic tissue is lost the arteries become increasingly less able to absorb
the pressure wave, which is pumped into the circulation with every heart beat, the
pressure within the system therefore rises and the blood pressure goes up. Diabetes
and untreated hypertension are a particularly bad combination for patients. High
blood pressure appears to hasten the slide to kidney failure; it accelerates the process
the process of atherosclerosis, and is also associated with an increased mortality from
strokes and heart attacks.
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