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What are the three main types of blood vessels?

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There are three main types of blood vessels:

This vast system of blood vessels -- arteries, veins, and capillaries -- is over 60,000 miles long. That's long enough to go around the world more than twice!

Blood flows continuously through your body's blood vessels. Your heart is the pump that makes it all possible.

  • Arteries. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to all of the body's tissues. They branch several times, becoming smaller and smaller as they carry blood further from the heart and into organs.
  • Capillaries. These are small, thin blood vessels that connect the arteries and the veins. Their thin walls allow oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide, and other waste products to pass to and from cells.
  • Veins. These are blood vessels that take blood back to the heart; this blood contains less oxygen and is rich in waste products that are to be excreted or removed from the body. Veins become larger as they get closer to the heart. The superior vena cava is the large vein that brings blood from the head and arms to the heart, and the inferior vena cava brings blood from the abdomen and legs into the heart.

From: How Your Heart Works WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE: National Heart Blood Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health.

Reviewed by James Beckerman on November 06, 2019

SOURCE: National Heart Blood Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health.

Reviewed by James Beckerman on November 06, 2019

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Where is your heart and what does it look like?

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