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How does plaque in arteries affect blood pressure?

When patients get plaque, the blood vessels have an impairment in their ability to dilate. They get stiffer and have more resistance. Blood pressure is cardiac output versus resistance, especially in the capillaries. When they get atherosclerosis, which is plaque in the arteries, there’s more resistance in the blood vessels and that raises blood pressure.

Dr. Ozgen Dogan
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

When your heart beats, it sends a surge of blood into your arteries. If your arteries are healthy and elastic, they will expand as blood travels through them. This "give" in your arteries keeps blood pressure from rising too high. However, if your arteries contain plaques, they will be narrow and less flexible. Because of this, the influx of blood will cause your pressure to build to high levels.

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