Show Summary Details
Page of

Physical factors in arterial ageing 

Physical factors in arterial ageing
Physical factors in arterial ageing

Junichiro Hashimoto

and Michael F. O’Rourke

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 May 2022

Arterial structure and function change progressively with advancing age. Owing to long-lasting repetitive stretch with intermittent cardiac contraction, elastic fibres in the tunica media of large arteries progressively degenerate and are replaced by collagenous fibres. Such degeneration causes elastic arteries to stiffen and dilate. Stiffening of the large arteries not only increases amplitude of the incident pressure wave but also hastens the return of the reflected pressure wave, thereby widening the pulse pressure in the central aorta. This widening increases the cardiac afterload during systole, while it decreases coronary flow during diastole, thus predisposing to heart failure and coronary ischaemia. Also, the excessive pulsatile pressure is transmitted deeply into the renal and cerebral microvasculature causing microalbuminuria and lacunar infarction. Although arterial ageing is considered an inevitable and irreversible process, it can be delayed through optimal blood pressure control.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.