Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen
and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. Healthy arteries are flexible, strong and elastic. Over time, however, too much pressure in your arteries can make the walls thick and stiff — sometimes restricting blood flow to your organs and tissues. This process is called arteriosclerosis
, or hardening of the arteries.
is a specific type of arteriosclerosis, but the terms are often used interchangeably.