JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Atherosclerosis. Artwork of narrowed arteries against a blood pressure measuring scale. Narrowing of the arteries is caused by atherosclerosis. The inner layer of the arteries has been thickened by the build up of a fatty deposit (yellow). This can cause an increase in the pressure of blood flow. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (background). It is expressed as systolic (when heart contracts) over diastolic (when heart relaxes). A measurement consistently exceeding 160 (systolic) and 95 (diastolic) is indicative of high blood pressure (hypertension). Atherosclerosis and hypertension can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
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