The ascending length-tension curves move progressively to the left with age, because the walls become increasingly stiff (Figure 05). This is not necessarily due to atherosclerosis, but rather to a natural aging process. The collagen in the vessel walls increases in quantity and also undergoes an alteration in its arrangement so there is less slackness in the pleated arrangement.
Thus, in older individuals the collagen begins to be stretched at a smaller value of wall stretch than in a younger individual (Figure 06). Accordingly, it begins to resist wall stretch much earlier.
There are several effects of aging on the arterial wall.
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