Vascular Aging

  • Joël Belmin
Part of the Basic Science for the Cardiologist book series (BASC, volume 1)


Aging is responsible for important changes in vascular structure and function which in turn affect the function of the heart and of other organs. Aging is associated with large artery remodeling, characterized by a progressive increase in stiffness and changes in the function of the endothelium and of smooth muscle cells (SMC). The effects of aging on the arterial system should be differentiated from that of atherosclerosis. Even though atherosclerosis is highly prevalent among aged individuals, the two processes are distinct in many ways. Aging, a physiological process which affects the entire vascular system, starts after sexual maturation and leads to enlargement of the arterial lumen, whereas atherosclerosis is a disease that affects limited areas of arteries, which usually starts in infancy or in adolescence and tends to narrow the lumen. During the last decades, research advances in vascular biology have provided a better understanding of the process of vascular aging.


Arterial Compliance Vasomotor Response Vascular Aging Glycation Process Aged Artery 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joël Belmin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GerontologyRené-Bigotini hospitalSevranFrance

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