Vascular disease is any condition that affects the network of your blood vessels.
This network is known as your vascular or circulatory system. “Vascular”comes from a Latin word for hollow container. If your entire network of blood vessels were stretched end-to-end, they could circle the Earth multiple times.
Some of these vessels move blood. As your heart beats, it pumps blood with oxygen and nutrients to feed your tissues and carry off waste. Arteries move blood away from the heart. Veins return it.
Lymph vessels and lymph nodes are part of a separate cleaning system that rids your body of damaged cells. They also help protect you from infections and cancer. The vessels pick up fluid from tissues throughout your body. That fluid drains back into veins under your collarbones.
Vascular diseases range from problems with your arteries, veins, and vessels that carry lymph to disorders that affect how your blood flows. A disease can mean your tissues aren’t getting enough blood, a condition called ischemia, as well as other serious, even life-threatening, problems.